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The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, so far as it relates 
to English history, with its two Continuations, embraces the 
period from the departure of the Romans in the year 446, to 
the twenty-third year of tlie reign of Edward I. in 1295. It 
is founded on an earlier Chronicle, compiled by Marianus 
Scotus, one of the man}^ learned Irishmen sent forth from the 
" Island of Saints," between the sixth and eleventh centuries. 
Marianus entered the Irish monastery of St. Martin at 
Cologne about the year 1056 ; two years afterwards he with- 
drew into complete seclusion at Fulda, and removed in 1059, 
still as a recluse, to Mentz, where he ended his days ; his 
death being variously assigned to the years 1083 or 1086. 
This long seclusion afforded him leisure for composing a 
Chronicle, extending from the creation of the world to tlie 
close of his own life ; but which is of comparatively little 
interest to ourselves, as even the latter portion of it relates 
almost entirely to the German empire or the Popedom, and 
contains only a few short references to events connected with 
this island. 

Florence has preserved these, in making the work of 
]Marianus the basis of his own Chronicle. The rest of his 
materials for the earlier period of English history are chiefly 
suj)plied by Bede, the Saxon Chronicle, the Lives of Saints, 
and Asser's Life of Alfred ;^ of the latter of which he gives 

' Florence copied Assor so literally that he has twice adopteil 
expressions omployctl hy the former, which might lead us to sup- 
pose that the chronicler had personally examined the positions on 
which two of the battles he describes were fought. See pp. 63 and 70 
of the present volume. 


almost an exact transcript, carrying the series of events 
down to the year 888. He then reverts to the Saxon 
Chronicle, which continues to be his main resource until he 
approaches his own times ; not, however, exclusively, for 
during one period he has scarcely extracted anything from 
it, and in treating of events of later times, especially those 
of the reign of Edward the Confessor, his narrative is 
much more circumstantial than any to be found in the 
existing manuscripts of that record. Florence has also 
largely collected from other sources, and selected his materials 
with great fidelity, industry, and judgment. He is therefore 
justly ranked next to Bede, and the compilers of the Saxon 
Chronicle, among the authorities for early English history, and, 
even on the ground which they travel together, his work, far 
from being superseded, forms a valuable supplement to 

" On the nones [the 7th] of July, 1118, died Florence, 
the monk of Worcester, whose acute observation and inde- 
fatigable industry have rendered this Chronicle of Chronicles 
preeminent." Such is the brief record, inserted by John, 
who was also a monk of Worcester, in his continuation of 
the Chronicle, which supplies nearly all the information we 
possess respecting our eminent annalist. Ordericus Yitalis, 
indeed, who flourished about the same period, notices the 
Chronicle, but in terms which have occasioned some per- 
plexity to the editors of Florence. The passage, certainly, 
contains no less than two grave errors ; but, allowing 
for these, there appears less difficulty than has been 
supposed in reconciling it with the jDrobable state of the 

Ordericus informs us that during his visit to England, he 
met with a work at Worcester, of which he gives the follow- 
ing account : — " John of Worcester, a native of England, and 
a monk of AVorcester, a man of venerable character and great 
learning, in the additions which he has made to the chronicles 
of Marianus Scotus, has gathered faithful accounts of king 
William, and of the events which occurred in his reign, and 
in those of his sons, William Rufus and king Henry, to the 
present day." Then, after a very exact account of the chro- 
nicle of Marianus, he says : — " John of Worcester, who fol- 
lowed, recorded the events of nearly a century, and, by order 


of the venerable Wulfstan, bishop and monk, appended his 
continuation to the chronicle of Marianus, succinctly relating 
many thinirs worthy of observation in the histories of the 
liomans [the popedom], the French, Germans, and other 

In this passage, Ordericus incorrectly describes the " con- 
tinuation of the chronicle of Marianus," which he saw at Wor- 
cester, as recording the events of nearly a century, while, as 
it will presently appear, it could only have embraced a i>eriod 
of about thirty-four years. He has also committed the more 
serious error of attributing the work to a person whose 
share, if any, in it was very small, suffering the name of Flo- 
rence, the real author, to escape his observation. This has 
led Mr. Thorpe to suggest, " that during Wulfstan's lifetime, 
and while Florence was engaged on his work, the labours 
of John were bestowed on the original Chronicle of Marianus, 
and that the manuscript containing those labours is no longer 
known to exist." ^ But the theory of bishop Wulfstan's 
distribution of the task between the two monks of 
Worcester, and of John's being employed on the original 
chronicle of Marianus, is, it should seem, sufficiently refuted 
by John's express statement already quoted, that it was 
"Florence's knowledge and industry which raised the Chro- 
nicle of Chronicles," meaning clearly the whole work, to 
its pitch of pre-eminence; and it would still leave us 
in the same dilemma as to Ordericus's omission of any 
reference to the labours of Florence, whatever they may 
have been. 

The learned editor proceeds to inquire, " Can any part 
of any copy of the Chronicle of Marianus Scotus, embodying 
Florence of Worcester, be pointed out as answering the de- 
scription given by Orderic of the labours of the monk John?*' 
The reply is, that the Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, 
in the existing manuscrijits, embodying Marianus Scotus, to 
reverse the phrase, does precisely answer the description 
given by Ordericus, as far as regards its general character, 
with the exception of the two errors into which he has fallen. 

' Ordericus Vitalis, b. iii. c. 15 ; pp. 493, 494, in Bohn's edition. 
"^ Preface to the Enylish Historical Society's edition of Florence, 
P- iv. O (\ 


t: ni 

viii PREFACE. 

Thore is sufficient ground for inferring that Florence 
oonuncnced liis work at the instance of bishop Wulfstan, 
and wo find liis additions to, and "continuation" of, 
:Marianus, comprising events, both domestic and foreign, in 
tlio spoeitic periods corresponding with the description of 
Ordericus, namely, the reign of William and his two 
sons ; although the Norman historian has unaccountably repre- 
sented that period as extending in round numbers to a 
liundred years. 

Tlie misapprehension of the passage of Ordericus appears 
to have arisen from connecting two paragraphs which have no 
such connection in the pages of the Norman monk. In the 
fifteenth Chapter of his third Book, Ordericus gives a short 
account of some authors who had written of the times of king 
WilHam and his two sons ; and he mentions first, William of 
Poitiers, and Guy, bishop of Amiens. He then proceeds, in 
the next paragraph, to describe the labours of Marianus, and 
the monk of Worcester, whom he calls John ; but without 
any furtlier reference to those of William of Poitiers and 
Guy of Amiens. Mr. Thorpe, however, reads the passage of 
Ordericus differently. He says : "After due praise bestowed 

on those works he then goes on to say, that a monk 

of Worcester, named John, faithfully extracted from William 
of Poitiers, and Gtiy of Amiens, that which he added to the 
Chronicles of Marianus Scotus concerning William the Con- 
queror and his sons," &c. It may be doubted whether either 
of the two monks of Worcester ever saw the works of the 
French authors here referred to, and, probably, there are no 
parts of the Chronicle wdiich can be traced to them ; but 
the words here printed in Italics are not contained in Orde- 
ricus, and we venture to think that the passage will not bear 
the turn they give it.^ If this view be correct, the grounds 
on which the genuineness of Florence's work is questioned 
will be so far narrowed. 

A little attention to dates will put the matter in a clear 
liglit. It appears from internal evidence that Ordericus, a 
monk of St. Evroult, in Normandy, commenced his own great 
work some time before the year 1123, perhaps about 1120. 
He seems to have made no great progress when he undertook 

^ The words of Ordericus, of which a translation has just been 
given, p. vii, are these : — "Joannes Wigornensis in his quae 


a journey to England for the purpose, it may be supposed, of 
collecting materials for the English annals, which are closely 
interwoven with those of Xormandy during the latter portion 
of his history. He informs us that he spent five weeks at 
Croyiand, in the time of abbot Geoffrey f and as we find in 
the course of his work that this abbot died on tlie otli June, 
112-4-,^ we are able to fix within limits sufiiciently accurate 
for the present purpose the period of Ordericus's journey 
to England, during which he made the visit to Worcester. 
Bishop Wulfstan was raised to that see in 1062, but as Mari- 
anus himself carried on his Chronicle to 1083, it must have 
been subsequently to the latter year that the bishop employed 
Florence in the labour of amplifying and continuing it. \\ ulf- 
stan died in 1095, but Florence survived till June, 1117, so 
that there was ample time between the death of Marianus and 
his own, a period of upwards of thirty-four years, for a recluse 
of liis industry and intelligence to have completed the task. 
Ordericus himself only lived to ll-ll or 1142, so that it is 
impossible that he could have seen a Continuation containing 
the events of a century after the death of ISIarianus, that is, 
extending to the year 1183; far in the reign of the third, 
instead of the second, Henry. 

Matters standing thus, and Ordericus coming to Wor- 
cester, according to these calculations, some three or four 
years after the death of Florence, he would find the Chro- 
nicle of Marianus in the state in which he describes it, as aug- 
mented and carried forward to the reign of Henry I. It 
would naturally be in the hands of the monk John, who 
was employed in further continuing it ; and there being, as 

Mariani Scoti chronicis atljecit, de rege Gulielmo, et de rebus qua sub 
eo, vel sub filiis ejus Guliehno Kufo et Henrico, usque hodie con- 
tigerunt, hone.ste deprompsit." In the editions, both of Duchesne and 
the Societe cV Histoire de France, the passage forms the commence- 
ment of a new paragraph, and, as the words m his evidently apply to 
the chronicle of Marianus, and cannot well be referred to deprompsit, 
there is nothing in the sentence to connect the latter word with 
"William of Poitiers, and Guy of Amiens. I\I. Dubois, the French 
translator of " Ordericus," thus reads it : "Jean de AVorcester . . 
... a park- convenablement, dans Ics additions aux chroniques de 
I'Ecossais Marien, taut du roi Guiliaume (jue des evenements qui sont 
passes sous lui, et sous ses fils Guiliaume le Roux et Henri, jusqu'ii 
nos jours." 

2 B. iv. c. IG. 3 B. xiii. 


appears from the manuscripts, no break in the annals conse- 
quent on tlie change of authors, we can only suppose, with 
JSIr. Petrie, tliat these circumstances led him to ascribe the 
merit of the whole work to the surviving continuator of 
Iklarianus, ^vith whom lie conversed; or that, his memory 
having failed him, or his notes being imperfect, he confused 
tlie name of John, his personal acquaintance, with that of 
Florence, when he got Imck to Xormandy and resumed his 
own labours. However this may be, the statement of Orde- 
rieus, possibly originating in a slip of his memory, or his pen, 
can hardly be allowed to cast a shadow of doubt on the 
genuineness of the Chronicle, as being the work of Florence, 
when it is weighed against the direct testimony of his brother 
monk of the same house, writing on the spot, and immediately 
after his death.^ 

This view of the case disarms the criticism that the con- 
tinuator, John of Worcester, " is hardly identical with the 
other monk of the same name and place spoken of by Orde- 
ricus Yitalis;"^ to say nothing of the improbability of there 
being two such persons engaged in the work at nearly the 
same period. 

With respect to the authorship of the first Continua- 
tion — independently of what may be gathered from a 
careful examination of the passage in Ordericus, — there 
is internal evidence that it was compiled by a monk of 
Worcester named John, who was cotemporary with the events 
which he records. One of these circumstances is sufficiently 
indicated by an entry under the year 1038, in which the writer 

" Be JoHX corrected, if there aught occur 
In which the reader finds his pages err." 

That he was cotemporary with the occurrences which he re- 
lates, appears incidentally fi-om his mode of speaking of king 
Stephen, where he says : " He was, nay is, at the present 

* 'M. Le Prevost, the learned editor of the Ordericus published 
by the French Historical Society, says in his note on the passage 
in dispute :— " Florent de Worcester, et non pas Jean, a continue^la 
chronique de son devancier [Mariauus], non pas pendant pres d'un 
siecle mais de 1083 a 1117, en y ajoutant beaucoup de faits relatifs a 
Ihistoire d'Angleterre."— Tome ii. p. 160. 

^ Preface to the E. H. Society's edition of Florence, p. vii. 


moment, desirous of peaee ;'* and he mentions Henry de 
Blois, bishop of Winchester,^ and Milo, earl of Hereford,'^ as 
living characters from whom he had received certain informa- 
tion ; whence we also learn that he had access to the 
highest sources of intelligence. The most striking passage 
in the volume is, perhaps, that in which he paints, as an eye- 
witness, the fearful scenes which occurred during an assault 
on Worcester l)y the partisans of the empress Maud, when an 
infuriated rabble burst into the abbey church whilst he and 
the rest of the monks were chanting primes in the choir.^ 
Indeed, like his predecessor Florence, he is naturally more 
diffuse and circumstantial than other chroniclers respecting 
occurrences connected with Worcestershire, the neighbouring 
counties, and the borders of Wales. 

Tlie first Continuation of Florence brings the annals down 
to the close of the year 1141, the period of Stephen's cap- 
tivity, after losing tlie battle of Lincoln. As several of the 
manuscripts, however, terminate Avith the year 1131, it has 
been supposed that the history of the last ten years was the 
work of another cotemporary writer ; but so far from there 
being internal evidence of any such change, the entry in which 
John, the monk of Worcester, introduces his own name, was 
inserted as late as 1138. While, therefore, there is no reason 
to doubt that the original Chronicle is the genuine pro- 
duction of Florence, the authorship of the first Continu- 
ation may be safely ascribed to John, the monk of Worcester, 
who was probably his disciple, and on whom his mantle 
worthily fell. 

The work of continuation appears to have been now sus- 
pended, and the interval between the years 1141 and 1152, 
when Henry II. ascended the throne, is filled up in one of the 
best manuscripts by a transcript from the History of Henry of 
Huntingdon. The scene of labour was then shifted from 
Worcester to Bury St. Edmund's, as appears from the fre- 
quent entries of occurrences connected with that locality 
inserted in the second Continuation, which was compiled by 
John de Taxter, a monk of Bury. Like most other chronicles, 
his work begins with the creation ; but it is only from the 
year 1152, where the continuation of Florence commences, 

' A.D. 1134 and 1137 ; pp. 249 and 253 of the present vol. 
2 A.D. 1140 ; p. 282, ib. 3 A.D. 1131) J pp. 270, 271. 


that it is of any value. De Taxtcr carries on the annals 
tln-ouu-li the reii^ns of Henry IE., llichard I., and John, to the 
year ll^O."), the forty-ninth of Henry IH., in which the battle 
of Evesham was fought. 

Tlie remainder of the second Continuation appears to have 
been also the work of a monk of Bury, from its constant re- 
ference to matters connected with that town and abbey. 
These notices, more or less dispersed throughout this portion 
of the Chronicle, are not without interest, particularly from 
the light they throw on the exactions levied by the Norman 
kings on the religious houses, a subject on which the writers 
ai)pear to have been very sensitive. Much curious informa- 
tion is also furnished on the general taxation of the kingdom, 
and monetary affairs of the time. The history is carried 
on through the latter years of the reign of Henry III., until 
nearly the close of that of Edward I. ; where it terminates 
abruptly in the year 1295. 

This second Continuation of the Chronicle, which is now 
for the first time presented to the English reader, has been 
translated from the text of the Historical Society's edition, 
])rinted from a manuscript, once the property of lord 
William Howard,^ and now belonging to the College of Arms. 
The Society's text has also been used in translating the 
Chronicle and the first Continuation ; its basis being a valu- 
able Manuscript in the library of the C. C. College, Oxford, 
which appears to have formerly belonged to the abbey of 

The Chronicle of Florence of Worcester, with its first Con- 
tinuation, was originally published in 1592, by lord William 
Howard, from two manuscripts then in his possession, and 
now in the library of Trinity College, Dublin, and w^as 
reprinted at Frankfort, in 160], with Matthew of West- 

Prefixed to all the copies, are lists of the popes from St. 
Peter to Honorius II., who died in 1130 ; of the seventy 
disciples ; of the Jewish high-priests, both before and after 
the captivity ; and of the archbishops and bishops of the 
several English sees, from the time of St. Augustine to that of 

^ Lord William Howard was the third son of Thomas, duke of 
Norfolk, warden of the Scottish marches; the "Belted Will" of 
Walter Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel. 


arclibisliop Tlieobald. These are followed by genealogies of 
the Anglo-Saxon kings, with short accounts of the origin 
and limits of the several kingdoms of the Heptarchy, and 
their division into bishoprics. The list of the popes is found 
in Marianus ; the others were probably added by Florence, 
as they occur in all the manuscrij)ts. Translations of all the 
lists connected with English history are appended to the 
present edition. 

T. F. 
Qth October, 1854. 




[a.d. 446.] The Britons, being unable to endure the in- 
cursions of the Picts and Scots, sent messengers to Rome, 
imploring aid against their enemies, and promising submission 
for themselves. A legion, dispatched to their aid without 
loss of time, slaughtered vast numbers of the enemy and 
drove the rest beyond the borders of Britain. The Romans 
then, on the point of being withdrawn, recommended th 
Britons to build a wall across the island between the two 
seas, for their own defence ; but as they had no one of 
sufficient skill to direct such works, more turf than stone was 
used in the construction, and the labour spent on it was 
thrown away. No sooner were the Romans departed, than 
the enemy, landing in boats, levelled, trampled down, and 
swept off, whatever came in their way, as if they were reaping 
corn ripe for the harvest. Again the Romans, listening to 
the prayers of the Britons, flew to their succour, and having 
defeated the enemy, forced them to recross the straits ; and 
then, in conjunction with the Britons, instead of the former 
earthen rampart, constructed a solid wall of stone, from frith 
to frith, between the towns which had been built there as a 
security against hostile inroads. They also erected watch- 
towers, at intervals, along the south coast, commanding views 
of the sea, as the enemy threatened them also in that quarter 


2 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 446 — 449. 

The Romans then bid the Britons farewell, telling them they 
should not again return. 

No sooner, however, were the Roman troops withdrawn, 
than the Scots and Picts again issued from the north, and, 
expelling the natives, occupied the whole island as far as the 
wall. Nor did they stop there ; for slaying, driving off, or 
taking prisoners, those who were stationed to guard the wall, 
the fierce ravagers broke through it in places, and even 
swept off an immense booty from within its line of defence. 
In consequence, a lacrymose epistle, full of complaints, was 
addressed to a man in high authority at Rome, ^tius, then 
consul for the third time, in the twenty-third year of the 
emperor Theodosius, imploring succour, which was not 

Meanwhile, a severe famine, which was very general, dis- 
tressed the fugitive Britons, compelling some of them to 
deliver themselves up to their enemies, while others, 
sheltering themselves in the mountains, caves, and woods, 
made an obstinate resistance. The Scots retreated to their 
own country, intending to return shortly ; the Picts occupied 
the remotest part of the island ; where they then first, and for 
ever afterwards, settled. The famine already mentioned was 
succeeded by a very abundant harvest; with plenty came 
excess and recklessness ; then followed a deadly pestilence ; 
and, to crown all, a still severer infliction at the hands of the 
Angles, new enemies, who, by the unanimous counsels of the 
Britons, under their king Vortigern, were invited to come 
over to defend the country ; instead of which, they invaded 
and subdued it. In consequence, during the reign of the 
emperor Marcian, people of the race of the Saxons or Angles 
crossed over to Britain in three long ships, and were followed 
by a stronger force, when the news of their prosperous voyage 
reached home. These, uniting with the first body, in the 
first instance expelled the enemy they were summoned to 
encounter, and then, turning their arms against their allies, 
overran with fire and sword nearly the whole island from east 
to west, that is, the central districts, on the false pretence 
that the Britons had not given them adequate subsidies for 
fighting their battles. 

[a.D. 447—449.] 


[a.d. 450.] According to Bede,* the Anglo-Saxons landed 
in Britain from three long ships in the reign of the Em- 
peror Marcian ; the people who came over belonging to 
three of the most powerful tribes in Germany, that is to say, 
the Saxons, Angles, and Jutes. The Kentish-men and the 
inhabitants of the Isle of Wight derive their origin from 
the Jutes ; those of Sussex, Middlesex, and Wessex from the 
Saxons; and the East- Angles, the Mid-Angles, the Mercians, 
and the whole Northumbrian race, with the rest of the 
English population, are descended from the Angles, that is, 
they sprung from the country called Angle. It is reported 
that two brothers, Hengist and Horsa, were their first chiefs. 
They were the sons of Yictigils, whose father was Witta, the 
son of Vecta, the son of Woden ; from which stock the royal 
line of many provinces derived its origin. 

[a.d. 451—454.] 

[a.d. 455.] Hengist and Horsa fought against Vortigern, 
king of the Britons, at a place called ^Egcles-threp [Ayles- 
ford], and, although Horsa was slain in the battle, Hengist 
gained the victory, and after these events reigned jointly with 
his son Gilsc. 

[a.d. 450.] 

[a.d. 457.] Hengist and (Esc engaged in battle with the 
Britons at a place called Creccanford [Cray ford] and put four 
thousand of them to the sword ; the rest of the Britons then 
abandoned Kent, and fled to London in great terror. 

[a.d. 458—404.] 

[a.d. 405.] Hengist and CEsc fought against the Britons 
near Wippedesfleote, [Ebbsfleet,] which means the place 
where Wipped crossed the water. They slew twelve chiefs 
of the enemy's army, with many others, while on their side 
only one thane, whose name was Wipped, fell in the battle. 

[a.d. 406-47*2.] 

[a.d. 473.] Hengist and CEsc fought with the Britons for 

* Ecclex. Hist. b. i. c. 15, whore Bede assigns the year 449 (it should 
be 450) for the coinincncement of the Emperor Alarcian's reign of 
seven years, during which he fixes the eera of the arrival of the Anglo- 
Saxon tribes in Britain. The Saxon Clironicle agrees witli this 
statement of Bede, who, however, incidentally referring to tliis event 
in oiher parts of his history, places it about the year 440 or 447. 

B 2 

4 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 474 — 507. 

the fourth time, and, gaining the victory, took spoils without 
number ; in which battle the Britons fled before the Angles 
fts they would from lire. 

[a.D. 474 — 470.] 

[aj>. 477.] iElla and his three sons, Cymen, Wencing, 
and Cissa, came to Britain in three ships, from which they 
landed at a place called Cymenes-ora, and there slew many 
of the Britons, and drove the rest into the forest called 

[a.D. 478—484.] 

[a.d. 485.] J^Ua, fighting the Britons near Mearcredes- 
burnan, that is Mearcrede's Brook, slew numbers of them 
and put the rest to flight. 

[a.d. 486, 487.] 

[a.D. 488.] Hengist, having governed the kingdom of 
Kent with the greatest vigour during thirty-four years, ended 
his life. His son (Esc succeeded to the throne, and reigned 
twenty-four years. 

[a.d. 489, 490.] 

[a.d. 491.] St. Patrick, Archbishop of Ireland, made a 
blessed end, aged one hundred and twenty-two years, ^lla, 
with his son Cissa, stormed Andredes-ceaster,^ after a long 
siege, and put all the inhabitants to the sword, from the 
eldest to the youngest. 

[a.d. 492—494.] 

[a.d. 495.] This year, two chiefs, namely, Cerdic and his 
son Cynric, crossed over to Britain with five ships, and» 
landing at a place called Cerdices-ora [Yarmouth ?], fought 
the Britons the same day, and having defeated them put 
them to flight. 

[a.d. 496—500.] 

[a.d. 501.] Port, and his two sons Byda and Maegla^ 
arrived in Britain, with two ships, at a place called Ports- 
mouth, and slew a British youth of very high rank, besides 
many others. 

[a.d 502—507.] 

1 Keynor in Selsea, near West WiHering, The forest of Andred, 
now the Weald of Sussex and Kent. See Henry of Huntingdon's 
Hist, pp. 44, 132, BohVs Anliq. Lib. 

2 Pevensey ? Cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 45. 


[.\.D. 508.] Cerdic and his son Cjnric slew Natanleod, 
king of the Britons, and five thousand men, with the edge 
of the sword ; from that king all the country as far as Cer- 
dices-ford^ derived its name of Natanleod. 

[A.D. 509—513.] 

[ad. 514.] The West-Saxons, sailing to Britain with three 
ships, landed at Cerdices-ora. Their chiefs, Stuf and Wihtgar, 
were Cerdic's nephews. Shortly afterwards they engaged in 
battle with the Britons, some of whom they slew, and put 
the rest to flight. 

[A.D. 515—518.] 

[a.d. 519.] Cerdic and Cynric began to reign [in Wessex], 
and the same year they fought and conquered the Britons at 

[a.d. 520.] 

[a.d 521.] St. Bridget, the Scottish nun, died in Ireland. 

[a.d. 522—526,] 

[a.d. 527.] Cerdic and Cynric, for the fourth time, fought 
with the Britons at Cerdices-leage. 

[a.d. 528, 529.] 

[a.d. 530.] Cerdic and Cynric conquered the Isle of 
Wight, which they gave to their nephews, Stuf and Wihtgar; 
a few men were slain in Wihtgara-birig, [Carisbrook Castle]. 

[a.d. 531—533.] 

[a.d. 5iS4.] Cerdic, the first king of the West-Saxons, 
departed this life ; and his son Cynric was, after his death, 
sole king for twenty-six years. 

[a.d. 535—537.] 

[a.d. 538.] There was an eclipse of the sun on the 
fourteenth of the calends of March (16th February), from 
the first to the third hour. 

[a.d. 539.] 

[a.d. 540.] There was an eclipse of the sun on the 
twelfth of the calends of July, (20th June,) and the stais 
were visible about half-an-hour before the third hour of 
the day. 

[a.d. 541—543.] 

[a.d. 544.] Wihtgar, the nephew of Cerdic, king of tho 

* CharforJ, in Hampshire. 

fi FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 545- -558. 

Wcst-Saxons died, and was buried at Wihtgara-birig, that is, 
Wihtgar's town. 

[a.d. 545, 54C.] 

[a.d. 547.] Ida began to rule in the province of the Ber- 
nicians, and reigned twelve years. He had six sons born of 
his queens, Adda, Balric, Theodric, CEthelric, Theodhere, 
and Osmar ; and six by concubines, Occ, Alric, Ecca, 
Oswald, Sogor, and Sogether ; from whom descended the 
royal line of the Northumbrians. Ida was son of Eoppa, 
who was son of Esa, who was son of Ingui, who was son of 
Angenwit, who was son of Aloe, who was son of Benoc, who 
was son of Brand, who was son of Bealdeag, who was son 
of "Woden, who was son of Frithelaf, who was son of 
Frithulf, who was son of Finn, who was son of Godulf, who 
was son of Geata. 

[a.d. 548—551.] 

[a.d. 55-2.] Cynric, king of the West-Saxons, fought with 
the Britons, and routed them at a place called Seares-byrig : 
his father was Cerdic, who was the son of Elesa, who was 
son of Esla, who was son of Gewis, vrho was son of Wig, who 
was son of Freawine, who was son of Freothegar, who was son 
of Brand, who was son of Bealdeag, who was son of Woden. 

[a.d. 553—555.] 

[a.d. 556.] Cynric and Ceaulin fought a battle against 
the Britons at Beran-byrig, and defeated them. 

[a.d. 557, 558.] ^lla began to reign in the province of 
Dcira, and governed it with the utmost vigour for nearly 
thirty years. [Gregory I. observing some English youths 
offered for sale in the Forum at Rome, said, in allusion to the 
name of this province ; " Alleluiah ! ^ the praise of God the 
Creator ought to be sung in those parts."] Meanwhile, when 
.^lla was living, the following kings reigned in Bernicia : 
Adda, the eldest son of Ida, seven years ; Clappa, five ; 
Theodulf, one; Theodulf, seven; and QEthelric, two years. 
On Ella's death, and his son Edwin being driven from the 
throne, CEthelric reigned five years over both provinces. 
^11 a was the son of Iffa, whose father was Wuscfrea, the 

^ Not in allusion to the name of the province, but to that of the 
liing yEUa. That of the province was played upon differently, " de 
ira," &c. Cf. Bede Eccl. Hist. b. ii., c. 1. 


son of Wilgils, the son of Westorwalcna, the son of Seomel, 
the son of Swearta, the son of Seafugel, the son of Seabald, 
the son of Siggeot, the son of Swcbdeag, the son of Siggar, 
the son of Weagdeag, the son of Woden. 

[a.d. 560] Ceauhn, the son of Cynric, succeeding to the 
kingdom of the West-Saxons, reigned thirty-three years. 

[a.d. 5G1.] Ethelbert, king of Kent, began to reign, and, 
according to Bede, he reigned fifty-six years. 

[a.d. 50-2—564.] 

[a.d. 565.] Columba, priest and abbot, came out of 
Ireland into Britain, and during the reign of Bride, the most 
powerful king of the Picts, converted the northern Picts to 
the faith of Christ ; in consequence, he received from them a 
grant of the island of Hii, for the purpose of building a 

[a.d. 566—567.] 

[a.d. 568.] Ethelbert, king of Kent, while he was engaged 
in a war with Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his 
son Cutha, was driven back by them into Kent, his two 
ealdormen, Oslaf and Cnebba, being slain at Wibbandune 

[a.d. 569—570.] 

[a.d. 571.] Cuthulf, the brother of king Ceaulin, fought 
with the Britons at Bedford, and gaining the victory took 
from them four royal vills, namely, Liganburh, [Leighton or 
Lenbury,] Eglesburh, [Aylesbury,] Bensingtun, [Benson,] 
and Egnesham, [Eynsham,] and he died the same year. 

[a.d. 572 — 576.] 

[a.d. 577.] Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his 
son Cuthwine fought with the Britons at a place called 
Deorham, ' and slaying their three kings, Coinmcail, Con- 
didan, and Farinmccil, with many of their people, took their 
three cities, Gloucester, Cirencester, and Bath. 

[a.d. 578—583.] 

[a.d. 584.] Ceaulin, king of the West-Saxons, and his 
son Cutha, fought with the Britons at a place called Fethan- 
leah,'^ in which battle Cutha fell, fighting bravely where 

* Dirham, in Gloucestershire. 

2 Fretlierne, Gloucestershire. Cf. Henry of Huntingdon (b. iv.) for 
a more circumstantial account of this hattle. 

8 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 585 — 597. 

the throng was thickest. Notwithstanding this, Ceaulin 
gained the victory, and taking much booty, seized on many 
of their vills. 

[a.d. 585—587.] 

[a.d. 588.] -^lla, king of Deira, died in the thirtieth 
year of his reign, and after him QEthelric, the son of Ida, 
reigned five years over both provinces. 

[a.d. 589.] The holy father Columban came to Burgundy 
from Ireland, the island of saints, with St. Gall, and other 
tried disciples, and there, by permission of king Theodoric, 
built the monastery of Luxeuil. Driven thence by Brunhilde, 
he went to Germany, where he left St. Gall, but he himself 
crossed into Italy, where he founded the monastery of Bobbio, 
and became the parent of many convents of monks. 

[a.d. 590.] 

[a.d. 591.] Ceol, the son of Cuthwulf, brother of king 
Ceaulin, began to reign, and he reigned over the West-Saxons 
live years. 

[a.d. 592.] A battle was fought at a place called Wodnes- 
beorh, [Wansborough ?] that is, Woden's Mount, in which 
there was a great slaughter, and Ceaulin was driven from 
his kingdom in the thirty-third year of his reign. 

[a.d. 593.] Ceaulin, Cwichelm, and Crida perished. 
OEihelric, king of Northumbria died; upon which his son 
Qilthelfrith assumed the reins of government and held them 
twenty-four years. He had seven sons, Eanfrith, Oswald, 
Oslaf, Oswin, Oswy, Offa, Oswudu, and Oslac, with one 
daughter named CEbbe. 

[a.d. 594, 595.] 

[a.d. 596.] In the 147th year after the arrival of the 
English in Britain, the 14th indiction, pope Gregory, by 
divine inspiration, sent Augustine the servant of God, with 
several other devout monks in his company, to preach the 
word of God to the English nation. 

[a.d. 597.] According to Bede, the aforesaid teachers 
arrived in Britain this year, and converted Ethelbert, king of 
Kent, to the faith of Christ in the thirty-fifth year of his 
reign. The king did not long defer the grant of an episcopal 
see to his teacher Augustine, in his metropolis of Canterbury, 
and, with royal assistance, he restored a church which had 


been formerly erected there by the exertions of the faithful 
among the Romans, and consecrated under the name St. 
Saviour's. Ceolwulf, son of Cutha, king Ceaulin's brother, 
succeeding to the kingdom of the West-Saxons, governed it 
fourteen years ; during which he was continually engaged in 
wars, either with the Angles or the Britons, the Scots or the 
Picts. Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, who was son of 
Cynric, son of Cerdic. 

[A.D. 598, 599.] 

[a.d. 600.] St. Ive the apostolical doctor, and a really 
inspired messenger from heaven and eminent bishop, de- 
parted to the Lord. His origin was in Persia, where he 
rose like the star in the east, but his course was divinely 
directed to the western regions in Britain. 

[a.d. 601.] Gregory writing to Augustine, in the nine- 
teenth year of Maurice, the fourth indiction, decreed that 
the bishops of London and York, receiving the pallium 
from the apostolical see, should be metropolitans in the same 
manner [as the archbishops of Canterbury]. 

[a.d. 002.] 

[a.d. 003.] Ethelfrith, a king of great bravery and am- 
bitious of renown, crushed the Britons more than any of the 
English chiefs who preceded him ; and exterminating or 
subjugating the native inhabitants, he either settled vast 
tracts of their territories with people of English race, or 
made the Britons tributaries to them. Roused by these 
proceedings, Aedan, king of the Scots, marched against him 
at the head of a vast army, but being defeated, few only 
accompanied his flight. Ethelfrith gained this battle at a 
place called Degsastan [Dalston?], in the eleventh year of 
his reign, and the first of the emperor Phocas. Assembling 
an army, a long time afterwards, at Chester, which the 
Britons call Carlegion, in execution of Divine justice, and as 
St. Augustine, the archbishop, had predicted,* he first slew 
twelve hundred British priests, who had joined the army to 
offer prayers on their behalf, and then exterminated the re- 
mainder of this impious armament. 

[a.d. 004.] Augustine consecrated Mellitus and Justus 

» Eccles. Hist, ii. 2. Cf. Sax. Chron., a.d. 007. 

10 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 605 — 616 

bishops : of whom Mellitus was to preach in the province of 
the East-Saxons, who having received the word of truth 
from his instructions, with their king Sebert, king^Ethel- 
bort's nephew, Ethelbert, himself, erected the church of St. 
Paul the apostle, in London, Sebert's metropolis. Justus 
was consecrated by Augustine, as bishop of Rochester, which 
the English call Hroveceaster. Having also consecrated the 
priest Lawrence as archbishop, to supply his own place, 
Augustine shortly afterwards, on Tuesday the seventh of the 
calends of June (26th May), was translated to the heavenly 

[a.D. 605.] Pope St. Gregory, the apostle of the English, 
and the honour of Rome, after having most gloriously 
governed the see of the Roman and apostolic church for 
thirteen years, six months, and ten days, was translated to 
an eternal seat in the kingdom of heaven, on Friday the 
fourth of the ides (the 12th) of March. 

[ad. 606.] 

[a.D. 607.] Ceolwulf, king of the West-Saxons, made 
war against the East-Saxons. 

[a.D. 608—610.] 

[a.D. 611.] King Ceolwulf died, and was succeeded by 
Cynegils, his brother Ceol's son. He reigned thirty- two 
years, being son of Ceol, who was son of Cutha, son of 
Cynric, son of Cerdic. 

[a.d. 6.12, 613.] 

[a.D. 614.] Cynegils and his son Cuichelm, marched an 
army against the Britons at Beandune [Bampton?], and 
engaging them in battle slew two thousand and forty-six of 
their number. 

[a.D. 615.] 

[a.D. 616.] Ethelbert, king of Kent, who was son of 
Irmenric, whose father was Octa, the son of Oric, surnamed 
Gisc, who was son of Hengist, ascended to the realms of 
heavenly bliss, on the twenty-fourth of February, in the 
fifty-sixth year of his reign, being the twent3^-first after he 
was converted to the faith. His son Eadbald succeeding 
him not only refused to embrace Christianity, but took to 
wife the widow of his father. Redwald, king of the East- 
Angles, slew Ethelfrith, king of Deira and Bernicia in a 

A.D. 617— G25.] ANGLO-SAXON BISHOPS. 11 

battle fought near the river Idle.* Edwin succeeded him, 
according to a prediction he had received, and expelled the 
seven sons 'of Ethel frith. Sebert, king of the East-Saxons, 
being removed to the heavenly kingdom, left his three sons, 
who persi«fted in heathenism, heirs of his kingdom in this 
world. They immediately made open profession of idolatry, 
and drove Mellitus, bishop of London, out of their territory. 
Mellitus retired into Kent, and after consulting Lawrence, the 
archbishop, withdrew into Gaul, accompanied by Justus, 
bishop of Rochester. However, the kings who had driven 
from their presence the herald of truth, were not long per- 
mitted to devote themselves to the worship of demons ; for 
having engaged in an expedition against the Gewissae, they 
all fell in a battle, as well as their troops. Lawrence being 
on the point of following Mellitus and Justus in their 
secession, that very night, Peter, prince of the Apostles, 
appeared to him and severely scourged him. In the morning, 
he repaired to king Eadbald, and exhibited to him the 
extent of the lacerations the stripes had made. On seeing 
this, the king was much terrified, and prohibiting all ido- 
latrous worship under the penalty of a curse,' and repudi- 
ating his incestuous marriage, embraced the Christian faith, 
and, sending to France, recalled Mellitus and Justus. 

[a.d. 617—620.] 

A.D. 621.] St. Lawrence, archbishop, departed to the 
Lord, during the reign of Eadbald, on the fourth of the 
nones (the 2nd) of February. He was Mellitus, 
the bishop of London, who became the third archbishop of 
Canterbury from Augustine. Cedd, the brother of Ceadda, 
succeeded Mellitus in the see of London.^ 

[a.d. 522—624.] 

[a.d. 625.] Mellitus, the archbishop, having governed the 
church five years, died on the eighth of the calends of May 
(24th April), in the reign of Eadbald. He was succeeded 

* Near Retford, in Nottinghamshire. Cf. Henry of Huntingdon, 
b. iii. and Bede's Eccl. Hist. b. 12, who place this battle in 620; the 
Sax. Cliroii. R. Wendovcr in the Fiores Ilist. in (517. For tlie "oracle" 
here alhided to, see the romantic legend of Edwine in Bede, b.ii., c. 12 

2 The date should have been ClU. Cf. Bode's Eccl. Hist., ii. 7, and 
the Saxon Chron. 

X2 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 626 — 628. 

Ly Justus, bishop of Rochester, who consecrated Romanus 
bishop in his stead.^ 

[a.D. 6*^6.] PaiiHnus, a man beloved by God, who had 
been sent by St. Gregory with the rest to preach in England, 
and in course of time became the third bishop of Rochester, 
having been consecrated by Justus to become archbishop of 
the Northumbrian people, was sent to Edwin, king of that 
nation, in attendance on his bride, king Ethelbert's daughter, 
by king Eadbald the maiden's brother. 

" [a.D. 627.] An assassin named Eomer, sent by Cuichelm 
king of the West-Saxons, presented himself at the court of 
king Ed\nn on Easter Sunday, and drawing a dagger from 
under his garment attempted to stab the king. The blow 
was intercepted by Lilla, one of Edwin's most devoted 
attendants, who protected him by interposing his own 
person, but the assassin plunged his weapon with such force 
that the king was wounded through the body of his thane, 
who was killed on the spot. On the night of the same 
Easter-day the queen bore Edwin a daughter, who was the 
first of the Northumbrian race baptised by bishop Paulinus, 
and received the name of Eanfled. 

Penda succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia in the fiftieth 
year of his age, and governed it thirty years. He was the 
son of Wibba, the son of Crida, the son of Cynewald, the 
son of Cnebba, the son of Icel, the son of Gomer, the son of 
Angengeat, the son of Offa, the son of Wermund, the son 
of Wightleag, the son of Waga, the son of Wothelgeat, the 
son of Woden. 

[a.D. 628.] In the sixteenth year of the emperor Herac- 
lius, the fifteenth induction, Edwin the most illustrious king 
of the English in Britain, who reigned over the nation to 
the north of the Humber, received with his people the word 
of salvation at the preaching of Paulinus, the bishop sent 
from Kent by archbishop Justus. This occurred in the 
eleventh year of his reign, and about two hundred and thirty 
years,^ more or less, after the English tribes arrived in 
Britain. The king himself founded the episcopal see of 

1 The date should be 624, and the mission of Paulinus 625, ib. c. 9. 

2 It should be 180 ; Cf. Bede's Eccl. Hist. b. ii. c. 14. 


York in favour of Paulinus. His temporal power increased 
in token of his embracing the faith and inheriting the 
heavenly kingdom, as he, first of the English princes, reduced 
the whole of Britain, except Kent, under his dominion. 

At this time, pope Honorius wrote a letter confuting the 
error of the Quarto-decimans respecting the observance of 
Easter, which had originated among the Scots ; John also, 
who succeeded Severinus' successor, disputed the same matter 
with them. For, before he was elected pope, he wrote to 
them on this Easter question, as well as concerning the 
Pelagian heresy, which had revived among them. 

Cynegils, and his son Cuichelm, the kings of the West- 
Saxons, fought a battle near Cirencester, with Penda king of 
the Mercians, and, peace being made and ratified, withdrew 
their troops. 

[a.d. 629—631.] 

[a.d. 632.] Eorpwald, son of king Redwald, son of 
Tytel, son of Uffa, by the persuasion of king Edwin, 
abandoned his idolatrous superstition, and embraced the 
Christian faith and sacraments with all his people ; but he 
was slain by a pagan named Ricbert. 

[a.d. 633.] The illustrious king Edwin, having glori- 
ously reigned seventeen years over both nations, Britons as 
well as English, was killed on the fourth of the ides (the 
12th) of October, in the forty-eighth year of his age, by 
Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, a prince of distin- 
guished bravery, and Cedwal king of the Britons, a still 
more savage heathen, in a pitched battle severely contested 
on the plain of Heathfield. Affairs in Northumbria being 
thus thrown into confusion, Paulinus, taking with him queen 
Ethelburga, returned to Kent by sea, and was received with 
honour by Honorius the archbishop and Eadbald the king. 

[a.d. 631.] Cedwal, king of the Britons, having first 
slain king Osric, king Edwin's cousin, with all his army, after- 
wards put to death Eanfrith, son of king Ethelfrith, who had 
come to him to sue for peace. On his death, his brother 
Oswald advanced with his army, which, though small in 
numbers, was strong in the faith of Christ, and slaughtered 
the impious British chief with his immense army, which he 
boasted nothing could withstand. Oswald then assumed the 

J^4 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 635, 636. 

govornmont of both kingdoms, and, in the course of time, 
received the submission of all the nations and provinces of 
Britain. At that time the people of Wessex, under their 
king Cynegils, embraced the Christian faith, the word being 
preached to them by bishop Birinus. St. Wilfrid was born. 

[a.D. C35.] King Oswald applied to the elders of the 
Scots to send him bishops. Aidan was sent ; by whom, and 
the most illustrious and holy king Oswald himself, the church 
of Christ was first founded and established in the province 
of Bernicia. Birinus was sent by pope Honorius to preach 
in England, and under his teaching of the gospel in Wessex, 
king Cynegils and his subjects became believers ; the most 
victorious king Oswald was his sponsor at the baptismal font. 
From these kings the same bishop received Dorchester for 
the seat of his bishopric. 

[a.D. 636.] Sigebert, brother of Eorpwald, king of the 
East-Angles, a prince in all respects most Christian and most 
learned, early in his reign took measures for causing his 
whole province to partake of the faith and sacraments. 
Bishop Felix, a native of Burgundy, who had become very 
intimate with Sigebert, king of the East-Angles, while he 
was an exile in France, encouraged his designs, and accom- 
panying him to England after Eorpvvald's death, was ap- 
pointed by him bishop of the East-Angles, and having 
converted that province to the faith of Christ, and procured 
an episcopal see to be founded in the city of Dunwich, pre- 
sided for seventeen years over that nation. 

At that time a most holy man, named Fursey, came from 
Ireland to East-Anglia, and being received with honour by 
the aforesaid king, preached there the word of life, and con- 
verting many of the unbelievers to Christ, afterwards built a 
noble monastery. Meanwhile, the king having given up the 
administration of affairs, and entrusted them to his cousin 
Ecgric, retired to the monastery he had founded, and receiv- 
ing the tonsure, was for a long time enlisted in the service 
of the King Eternal. But when Penda, the heathen kmg 
of Mercia, made war against the East-Angles, he was drawn 
from the convent against his will, and, being reluctantly led 
to battle with only a staff in his hand, he was slain as well 
as king Ecgrig. Anna, son of Eni succeeded to the throne. 

^ D. G37 — G45.] ANGLO-SAXON KINGS. 15 

Cuichelm, the son of king Cynegils, was baptised by bisbop 
liirinus, in tlie city of Dorchester, and died the same year. 

[a.d. 637, 638.] 

[a.d. 639.] Bishop Birinus baptised Ciithred, the son of 
king Cuichelm, in the city of Dorchester, and received him 
from the font of regeneration. 

[a.d. 640 ] Eadbald, king of Kent, departed this Ufe in 
the twenty-fifth year of his reign, leaving the government of 
his kingdom to his son Erconberht. He was the first of the 
English kings who ordered the idols to be forsaken and de- 
stroyed throughout his whole kingdom, and at the same time 
he commanded the fast of forty days to be observed. His 
daughter, Ercongote, by his queen St. Sexburg, was a virgin 
endowed with sublime virtues. 

[a.d. 641.] 

[a.d. 64'2.] The most Christian king Oswald, the nephew 
of king Edwin, and son of king Ethelfrith, a prince who was 
always humble, gracious, and liberal to pilgrims and the 
poor, was slain in the thirty-eighth year of his age, and the 
ninth of his reign, by Penda, the heathen king of Mercia, in 
a great battle fought at a place called Maserfeld. 

[a.d. 643.] His brother Oswy, a young man about thirty 
years of age, shortly afterwards succeeded to his kingdom, 
and maintained himself in it by incessant struggles for 
twenty-eight years. Cenwalch, son of Cynegils, succeeded 
the same vear to the kinf^dom of Wessex, which he held 
twenty-one years. He built the church at Winchester, in 
which is the bishop's seat. 

[a.d. 644.] Paulinus, formerly bishop of York, but then 
of Rochester, departed to the Lord on the sixth of the ides 
(the lOtli) of October. He had been a bishop eighteen years, 
two months, and twenty-one days. Honorius, the archbishop, 
the successor of Justus, ordained Ithamar bishop of Rochester 
in the place of Paulinus. 

[a.d. 645.] Cenwalch, king of Wessex, being attacked 
by Penda, king of the Mercians, for having divorced his sister, 
was dethroned, and took refuge with Anna, king of East- 
Anglia. Likewise this same year king Oswin, son of Osric, 
cousin-gcrman to Edwin, — a prince of graceful aspect, tall in 
stature, courteous and affable, of gentle manners, liberal to 


all, the humblest of kings, and generally beloved— began to 
reign in the province of Deira, and governed it seven years. 

[a.d. 046.] King Cenwalch was baptised in East-Anglia, 
by Bishop Felix. 

[a.d. 647.] Felix, the first bishop of the East-Angles 
died ; in whose place archbishop Honorius consecrated his 
deacon, Thomas; who also departing this life, after being 
bishop five years, was succeeded by Boniface. 

[a.d. 648.] King Cenwalch returned from East-Anglia to 
Wessex, and the same year made a large grant of lands to his 
nephew Cuthred, son of king Cuichelm. 

[a.d. 649.] 

[a.d. 650.] Bishop Egilbert, a native of France, was 
appointed to the see of Wessex by king Cenwalch, after the 
death of Birinus, and exercised episcopal authority in that 
province for many years. 

[a.d. 651.] St. Cuthbert entered the monastery of Mail- 
rose, being admitted by Eata, the most reverend abbot of 
that church. Oswin king of Deira, a man of the deepest 
humility and eminent piety, was slain in a detestable manner 
on the thirteenth of the calends of September ((30th August), 
at the command of king Oswy, by his ealdorman Ethelwin ; 
having been treacherously betrayed by earl Hunwald, in 
whom he confided as a devoted friend. He was succeeded 
by Ethel wold, son of king Oswald. After the murder of 
king Oswin, bishop Aidan departed to the realms of bliss on 
the second of the calends of September (August 31st). 
Cuthbert, an excellent young man, beheld his soul carried to 
heaven by angels. Finan was raised to the bishopric in his 
place, being consecrated and sent by the Scots. 

[a.d. 652.] 

[a.d. 653.J Benedict, surnamed Biscop, a thane of king 
Oswin, and an Englishman of noble birth, quitted his 
home and kindred, his possessions and native country, for 
the love of Christ, at the age of twenty-five years, and be- 
taking himself to Rome, came back advanced in learning. 
Honorius, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on 
the second of the calends of October (30th September). He 
was succeeded in the see, at the expiration of a year and six 
months, by Deusdedit the sixth archbishop from Augustine, 


and liaviiig been consecrated by Itbumar bishop of liocbestcr, 
on the seventh of the calends of April [*>J(Jth March], he 
governed ln"s church nine y<^ars, four months, and two 

The Mid- Angles, under their prince Peada, son of Penda 
king of j\rercia, received the Christian faith and sacraments, 
the prince himself being first baptized, with all his attend- 
ants, by bishop Finan, at tlie court of Oswy king of North- 
umbria. Afterwards, on his return home, the rest of his 
people were baptized by four priests, Cedd, Adda, l^etti, and 
Diuma, who accompanied him from Northumbria. At that 
time Sigebert, king of the P^ast-Angles, who succeeded Sebert, 
sumamed the Little, having embraced the faith of Christ on 
the exhortation of king Oswy while on a visit to him, was 
baptized by Finan, the bishop of the Northumbrians ; and 
on his return to his own seat of government, king Oswy sent 
with him Cedd the priest, a man of God, to preach the Word 
to the East-Saxons. Having gathered a numerous church 
for the Lord, he went home to confer with bishop Finan, 
and receiving from him the episcopal dignity, on his return 
to the province he completed with greater authority the work 
he had commenced. On one occasion, when he revisited 
the province of Northumbria, for the purpose of exhortation, 
Ethelwald king of Deira, king Oswald's son, requested him to 
accept a grant of land whereon he might build a monastery. 
In compliance with the royal will he selected a site for it 
at a place now called Leastingaig, and having erected the 
monastery, established in it the rules of a religious life. 
iSIeanwhile, at the instigation of the foe to all good men, 
Sigebert was slain by his own neighbours, because it was too 
much his practice to pardon his enemies, and forgive, with 
a gentle spirit, on their mere petition, the injuries he had 
received from them. Swithelm, the son of Sexbald, succeeded 
to his throne. 

[a.d. r)54.] Anna, king of the East-Angles, was slain by 
king Penda, and succeeded by his brother Ethelhere. A 
monastery was built by St. Botulph, at a place called 

[a.d. 055.] Penda, the perfidious king of Mcrcia, who 
had slain Sigebert, Ecgrig, and Anna, kings of the I'^ast- 
Angles, as well as Edwin and Oswald, kings of the North- 


18 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 656, 657. 

iimbrians. having mustered thirty legions, with as many 
noble thanes, advanced northward into Bernicia, to wage a 
war of cou<iuest against king Oswy. That king, with his 
son Alfrid. trusting in Christ as their leader, although they 
had only one legion, met the enemy at a place called Win- 
widfeld.' Battle being joined, the Pagans were routed and 
cut to pieces, nearly all the thirty kings thanes who marched 
under liis banner being slain. Among them fell Ethelhere, 
brother and successor of Anna Idng of the East- Angles, the 
promoter of the war. His brother Ethelwald succeeded to 
his kingdom. Then king Oswy, in acknowledgment of the 
victor}' vouchsafed to him, devoted to God twelve estates for 
huilding monasteries, together with his daughter Eltleda to 
be consecrated as a nun, and accordingly she entered the 
monastery of Heortesig, of which Hilda was then abbess. 
This battle was fought by king Oswy, in the neighbourhood of 
Leeds, in the thirteenth year of his reign, and on the seven- 
teenth of the calends of December [15tli Koveml.ier], and he 
converted the nation of the Mercians to the faith of Christ. 
By his care, Diuma, already mentioned, was the first who 
was made bishop of the province of Mercia. and of the people 
of Lindisfarne and Middle- Anglia ; the second was CeoUan, 
a Scotchman by birth. This king reigned three years over 
the Mercians and the other 2:>eople of the southern provinces. 
He compelled the Pictish nation to submit to the dominion 
of the English ; and made Peada his cousin, son of king 
Penda, king of the Southern Mercians. 

[a.D. 056.] King Peada was most foully murdered, 
through the treacheiT of his wife, at the very time when the 
feast of Easter was celebrating?. 

[a.D. 657.] Cenwalch, king of Wessex, fought with the 
Britons, and drove them as far as the Parret. The abbess 
St. Hilda began to build a monastery at a place called 
Streoneshealh, in which king Oswys daughter was a nun in 
the earlier part of her life, and afterwards became abbess. 
Her mother, queen Eanfleda, built a monastery, which is 
called In-Gethng, on the spot where king Oswine, the son of 
her father's cousin, king Osric, was unrighteously slain, and 

* •* The river Winwfsd, near which this battle was fought, is, accord- 
ing to Camden, the Are, which runs near Leeds." — Thorpe. 

A.D. 0.39 — 60^.] OSWY — AVULFIIERE, 1\) 

appointeil Trunihere, a man of God, who was kinsman to 
the nmrtlered king, ahbot. 

[a.d. O'iO,] Immin, Kaba, and Eadberlit, ealdormen of 
IVIcrcia, rebelled against king Oswj, raising to the throne 
Wulfliere, the son of Penda, who having been saved in con- 
cealment, was now coming to years of puberty; and thus, 
with their king, they enjoyed the liberty of professing 
Christianity. This king's first bishop was Trunihere, 
already named ; the second was Jaruman ; the third Cedd ; 
and the fourth Winfrid. 

[a.d. 000.] King Cenwalch divided the West-Saxon 
province into two dioceses, and made the city of Winchester 
bishop AVine's episcopal seat ; in consequence of which 
bishop Agilbcrt was so much offended that ho retired to 
France, and accepted the bishoj)ric of Paris King Ecgfrith, 
son of king Oswy, married Etheldritha, the daughter of 
Anna, king of the East-Angles. 

[a.d. (>01.] Cuthrod, son of king Cuichelm, to wit, grand- 
son of king Cyncgils and cousin-german of the kings Cenwalch 
and Centwin, together with the tributary-king Conbriht, who 
was great-grandson of king Ceauhn, and king Cedwal's father, 
(hed this year. Wulfliere, king of the Mercians, first ravaged 
Asccsdun, and then took possession of the Isle of Wiglit, 
which he gave to his godson Ethelwold, king of the South- 
Saxons, together with the district of Meanvara in Wesscx. 
Finan, bishop of the Northumbrians, died, and was suc- 
ceeded by Colman, who was also sent from Scotland. 

[a.d. nO'2, oe;5.] 

[a.d. 004.] In the thirtieth year after Scotch bishops 
were estabhslied in Northumbria, and the twenty-second of 
the reign of king Oswy, questions having been raised in that 
l)rovinco respecting Easter, the tonsure, and other ecclesi- 
astical aifairs, it was settled that a synod should be held at 
the monastery of Strconcshcalh, where Hilda was then 
abbess. It was attended by the kings Oswy and his son 
Alfrid, who had succeeded to the kingdom of king Etliel- 
wald, king Oswald's son; as also by bisliop Colman and his 
clergy, Agilbert bishop of the West-Saxons, with the priests 
Agatho and Wilfrid, Cedd bishop of the East-Saxons, and 
the abbess Hilda, with her officials. After much debate, at 
last, both the superiors and their subordinates agreed to 



rcliiKiui.sli (lie iiualiil usages of the Scotch, and hastened to 
adopt tliose ^vhich they liad ascertained to be better. Tlio 
controversy bemg conckided, and the questions solved, Agil- 
bort went home, and Cedd, giving up the traditions of the 
Scots, returned to his own diocese. Colman, silenced by the 
unanimous resolution of the Catholics, rejoined his adherents 
in Scotland, and on his witlidrawing to his own country, 
Tuda was appointed bishop of the Northumbrians in his stead; 
but he ruled the church only for a short time. Eata, a most 
re\eren(l man, who was abbot of Mailrose, and before that had 
founded the monastery of Ripon at king Alfred's request, w^as 
set over the brethren of Lindisfarne, and removed St. Cuth- 
bert from Mailrose to the island of Lindisfarne. 

The same year, tliere was an eclipse of the sun on the 3rd 
of May, at about the tenth hour. It w\as quickly followed 
by a j)estilence which snatched from the world Tuda, the 
priest of the Lord. The king, by the advice and with the 
concurrence of his father, king Oswy, sent the venerable 
fatlier Wilfrid, abbot of Ripon, to the king of the Franks, 
requesting that he might be ordained bishop, he being then 
about thirty years old. Thereupon the king sent him for 
consecration to Agilbert, who having withdrawn from Britain 
was made bishop of Paris, and, assisted by eleven other 
bishops, performed the office with great, ceremony. Deus- 
dedit, tlie sixth archbishop from Augustine, died on the 
second of the ides [the 14th] of July. Erconbert also, king 
of Kent, died the same year, and his son Egbert ascended 
tlie throne. Ceadda, that holy man, who was brother of 
Cedd, bishop and saint, and abbot of the monastery of Least- 
ingaig, on the command of king Oswy, was consecrated 
bishop of York, by Wine, bishop of Winchester, as Wilfrid 
was still an exile in foreign parts. Ethelburga, the mother of 
the convent of Barking, a woman beloved by Grod, and the 
first al)])ess of that monasterv, was released from the prison of 
tlie flesh on the fifth of the ides [the 11th] of October. She 
was sister of Erconwald, a man of admirable sanctity, after- 
w^ards bishop of London ; her life w^as such that no one who 
knew her could doubt that on her departure from this life the 
gates of the heavenly kingdom were opened to her. She was 
succeeded in the office of abbess by a nun beloved of God, 
whose name was Hildelith. Shortly afterwards, Cedd, bisliop 


of the East-Saxons, wont to liis monastery of Least ini^'aig, 
where lie fell siek and died on the seventh of the calends of 
November [2Gth October]. Ethelwald, king of the East- 
Angles, having died, he was succeeded by Aldulf, whose 
mother was Hereswitha, sister of 8t. Hilda, the abbess ; their 
father was Hererie, son of Eadfrith, son of Edwine. Boisihis, 
a monk of sublime virtues, superior of the monastery of Mail- 
rose, a man ins])ired with the spirit of prophecy, and a priest 
beloved of God, haNing been struck by a mortal disease, was 
exalted to the joys of eternal light. Sighere, king of the 
East-Saxons, with his part of the peo])le, apostatized from 
the taith, which coming to the ears of Wulfhere, king of the 
IMercians, he sent bishop Jaruman, Trumhere's successor, to 
correct the error. However, Sebbi, who shared the throne, as 
co-heir with him, preserved the faith he had embraced, with 
all the population subject to him. 

[a.d. QGo.'] Benedict, surnamed Biscop, went to Rome, 
for the second time, when Yitalian was pope, and a few 
months afterwards retired to the island of Lerins.^ Devotinir 
himself to the monks, he received the tonsure, and for two 
years served God, under the abbot's rule, according to the 
regular discipline. 

[a.d. 666.] St. Aldhelm was ordained abbot of Malmesbury 
in the church of SS, Peter and Paul by Eleutherius, the 
fourth bishop of the West-Saxons. Wina, bishop of Win- 
chester, being driven from his see by king Cenwalch, repaired 
to Wulfhere, king of the Mercians, and receiving from him the 
see of London, remained bishop of that city for the rest of his 

[a.d. 667.] The most illustrious English kings, Oswy, of 
the province of Northuml)ria, and Egbert, of Kent, with the 
consent of the holy church of the English nation, sent to 
Rome, for consecration to the office of bisho]), a priest named 
Wihard, one of the clerks of archbishop Deusdedit. But 
although he reached Rome, he was snatched away by death 
before he could be consecrated. Ceadda, bishop of York, 
governed the church gloriously for three years ; he then 

* The island of Lerins, off the coast of Provence, in the diocese of 
Antibes, on which was a celebrated monastery and school founded at 
the end of the fourth centui'y by St. Honoratus. See Gallia Christiana, 
t. iii. p. 1180. 

22 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 668 — 671. 

rotli'od to the su])crinten(lenco of his monastery at Leastingaig, 
and WiltVid took npon himself the episcopal charge of the 
entire ])rovinre of Northnmbria. 

[a.D. 608.] Biseop, called also Benedict, visited Rome for 
the third time. There was then at Rome a monk named 
Theodore, a native of Tai'sus, in Silicia, a man Avell versed 
both in secular and ecclesiastical learning, master both of 
(ireek and Latin, of unblemished life, and sixty-six years of 
ai?e. Po])e Vitalian having consecrated him archbishop, on 
Sunday, the seventh of the calends of April [26th March], 
commiUed him to the care of Biseop, as he Avas a prudent and 
spirited man, to he conducted to Britain, in company Avith 
al>bot Adrian. 

[a.D. 669.] Archbishop Theodore arrived in Kent on 
Sunday, the sixth of the calends of June [27th May], and 
entrusted the government of the monastery of St. Peter the 
apostle to Benedict, also called Bisco]), with the office of 
abbot. Soon afterwards he made a progress through the 
island, consecrating bishops in suitable jjlaces, and com- 
pleted the consecration of Ceadda by new rites after the 
catholic form. In the city of Rochester, also, Avhere there 
had been no bishop since the death of Damianus, he ordained 
Putta, a man skilled in ecclesiastical discipline ; and not long- 
afterwards, on the death of Jaruman, at the request of king 
Wulfhere, and with the concurrence of king Oswy, he enjoined 
Ceadda to take charge of the united sees of Mercia and Lin- 
disfarne. Ceadda obeyed the injunction, and employed him- 
self in the ministry he had accepted, with great purity of life. 
King Wulfhere granted him fifty hides of land for the purpose 
of building a monastery at a place called At-Bearuwe. 

[a.D. 670.] Oswy, king of the Northumbrians, falling 
sick, died on the fifteenth of the calends of March [15th Feb.], 
in the fifty-eighth year of his age, leaving his son Egfrid as 
successor to his khigdom. King Cenwalch and the West- 
Saxons requested Theodore, archbishop of Canterbury, to 
consecrate as their bishop, Eleutherius, nephew of Agilbert, 
bishop of Paris, and having been consecrated accordingly at 
Winchester, he administered the united diocese seven years. 

[a.D. 671.] There was a pest among birds, Avhich destroyed 
vast numlx>rs. The venerable abbot Benedict, also called 
Biseop, having presided over the monastery of St. Peter the 


a])ostlo two yeai's, tilling tlio office of abbot, wont from 
IJrltain to Rome for tlio third time, by leave of archbishoj) 
Tlieo(l(^re. lie was siieeeeded in the i>;<)vennnent of the eoji- 
vent l>v a])b()t Adrian, whom we havo before mentioneil, ;ui 
African by birth, well read in the sacred writini^s, and an apt 
scholar both in Greek and Latin. 

[a.I). G7-.] Cenwalch, king of the West-Saxons, died in 
the thirtieth year of his reign ; his Cjiieen Sexburga, acconl- 
ing to the English chronicle,* reigned after him one year, 
but according to Bede,^ tributary-kings di\ided his king- 
dom and ruled it about ten years. Etheldritha, queen of tlie 
Noitluuubrians, used long importunities -with king Egfiid 
for leave to release herself from worldly cares and do tlu^ 
service of the Lord Christ in a monastery ; andhaNing at last, 
with no little ditticidty, succeeded, she entered the monastery 
of St. Ebba, the abbess, who was sister of the kings, SS. 
Oswald and Oswy, and aunt of king Egfj'id, recei\ ing the 
nun*s veil from the hands of bishop Wilfrid. After bishoj) 
Ceadda had gloriously rided the church in the province of 
Mercia for two years and a half, he became \ery iniirm, and 
being ]>rcpared for his end by partaking of tlie body an<l blood 
of our Lord, he went to eternal bliss on the sixth of the nones 
[the 2nd] of March. As he was departing out of this world, 
the most reverend father Egbert, who had been his fellow- 
scholar in Ireland, saw the s])irit of St. Chad, the bishop, 
Ceadda's brother, with an host of angels, descend fi'om heaven 
and bear it upwards with them on their return to the realms 
of bliss. His deacon, Winfrid, was consecrated by Theodore, 
and became the successor of his master, the bisho]).' Benedict 
Biscop I'eturned from Home, and on his landing in Britain he 
betook himself to his own people and native soil. Egfrid 
king of the nations beyond the Ilumbor, whose court he 
visited, immediately granted him a domain containing se\entv 
families that he might ])uild a monastery at the mouth of the 
river Wear. 

[a.d. 073.] Egbert king of Kent died In the month of Julv 
and the ninth year of his reign ; he was succeeded by his 
brother Hlothere, who reigned eleven years and seven months. 

' Saxon Chronicle, p. 3vjn {.liifiq. Lib.). 
3 StthregiUi. ^ JiedeVj Eccl. Hist. ib. j>. 11)1. 

24 FLORENCE OF WOKCESTEK. [a.D. 674, 675. 

Tlioodoro, nrchbishop of Canterbury, convened an episcopal 
synod at a i>laee called Hertford, in which Wilfrid, bishop of the 
Northumbrians, was represented by his own legates. There 
were present at this synod, Putta, bishop of ^ Rochester, 
Eleutlierius, bishop of the East-Saxons, and Winfrid, bishop of 
the Mercians ; to whom must be added Bisi, bishop of the 
East-Angles, the successor of Boniface already mentioned. 
He was a very holy and devout man, and had been consecrated 
by Theodore a short time before the synod ; and^ being 
afterwards prevented by severe infirmities from performing the 
duties of his office, two bishops, iEcci and Badwine, w^ere 
ordained in his lifetime to act for him. St. Etheldritha was 
made abbess in the district called Elge (Ely), where, having 
built a monastery for nuns, this virgin became mother in the 
heavenly life both by her example and precepts. 

[a.D. 674.] According to the English chronicle, Escwine 
succeeded this year to the kingdom of Wessex. He was the 
son of Cenfus, who was son of Cenferth, who was son of 
Cuthgils, who was son of Ceolwulf, who was son of Cynric, 
who was son of Cerdic. (Ireland, the island of saints, 
was gloriously filled with holy men and wonderful works.) 

Biscop (built a monastery) at the mouth of the river 

Wear, in the second indiction. 

[a.D. 675.] Wulfhere, king of Mercia, and Escwine, king 
of Wessex, fought a battle at a place called Beadenhead. 
The same year, being the seventeenth of his reign, king 
Wulfhere himself w^nt to heaven. He was the first of the 
Mercian kings who received the faith and the Avashing of 
holy regeneration ; and abolishing, and utterly rooting out the 
worship of idols among all his people, he caused the name of 
Christ to be published throughout his dominions, and built 
churches in many places. His queen, St. Ermengilda, was the 
daughter of Erconbert, king of Kent, and his queen, St. 
Sexburga, the daughter of Anna, king of the East-Angles, and 
sister of St. Etheldritha. St. Werburga, Wulfhere's daughter 
by Emiengild, a virgin of exemplary virtues, after her father's 
death, renounced the world, and resolving to take the habit of a 
nun, entered the monastery of her mother's aunt, St. Etheldritha, 
where by God's help she wrought many miracles. Her uncle, 
king Ethelred, hearing reports of her sanctity, appointed 
her to preside over several monasteries of virgins devoted to 


God, witli tlie rank of al)boss, livincf in and anions: which 
according to monastic rules, and attectionately eonsuhin<^ their 
vrood in all thinccs, she combated in the service of Christ her 
King to the end of her life ; and dying in one of her monas- 
teries called Trentham, the beatified virghi was esi)Oused and 
taken to her lieavenly bridegroom. Her cori)se was carried 
to the monastery at Hanbury, as she had directed in her life- 
time, and being interred with great honour, remained without 
corruption until the time when the heathen Danes laid waste 
the provinces of England with cruel slaughter and barbarous 
ravages. King Wulf here's brothers were these : Ethelred, 
who succeeded him in his kingdom ; Peada, who, as we briefly 
mentioned, was king of the Southern Mercians ; and Merewald, 
who ruled in the western i)art of Mercia. Merewald's queen, 
Ermenburga, bore him three daughters, St. INIildburg, St. Mild- 
rith, and St. Mildgith, and one son, Merclin, a youth of 
eminent piety. 

Archbishop Theodore, being offended with Winfrid, bishop 
of the Mercians, on account of some act of disobedience, de- 
posed him from his bishopric and ordained in his stead Saxulf, 
the founder and abbot of the monastery called Burg, in the 
territory of the Girvii.* After his deposition, Winfrid retired 
to his monastery of Bearwe, and there ended his days in 
a course of holy living. Theodore also appointed Ercon- 
wald bishop of the East-Saxons, who were then under Sebbe 
and Sighere, with London for his see, where his predecessor 
Wine had his episcopal seat. Erconwald's life and conversation, 
both before and after he was made bishop, are said to have 
been most holy. He founded two monasteries, one for him- 
self, and the other for his sister; his own, called Chertsey, Avith 
the aid of the sub-king, Frithewold, he filled with monks and 
amply endowed; his sister's monastery was called Barking, 
and she became the first abbess. Waldhere succeeded Ercon- 
wald, and after him was Inguald, the last bishop of London 
mentioned by Bede in his History of England. Moreover, 
Hildelith succeeded Ethelburga, St. Erconwald's sister, and it 
was to her that St. Aldlielm addressed his book " On Virginity." 
Wulf hildis succeeded Hildelith as abbess, in the time of king 


Peterborough ; the Gervian tenitory was in the n.e. of Mercia. 

26 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.d. 676, 677. 

[a.d. G7G.] Benedict Biscop went fVom Britain to Rome 
the fourth time, a('eomi)anied l)y Ceolfrid a pious monk, and 
l.rouj^ht back a bull of privileges, accejited not only with the 
license and concurrence, but at the express desire and instance 
of king P]i>irid, whereby the independence and immunities of 
his monastery were secured for ever. He also obtained the 
services of Jolm, precentor of the church of St. Peter the 
apostle; bringing him to Britain to teach his monks the course 
of chaunting throughout the year. 

Escwine, king of Wessex, died, and Centwine, who was son 
of Cynegils, son of Ceol, succeeded him. Ethelred, king of 
the Mercians, ravaged Kent, destroying the city of Rochester 
in the conmion ruin. Putta, its bishop, being exposed to 
this, took refuge with Saxulf, bishop of the Mercians, and 
accepting the cure of a church he gave him, ended his days 
there in peace. Theodore consecrated Cuichelm to be bishop 
in Putta's place, but as he retii'ed from the see shortly after- 
wards, because it was stripped of its possessions, Theodore 
a])pointed Gebmund bishop in his stead. On the death of 
Eleutherius, bishop of the West-Saxons, Haedcli took u])on 
himself his episcopal functions, having been consecrated by 
Theodore at London. St. Cuthbert devoted liimself to a life 
of solitude and contemplation as a hermit. 

[a.d. 677.] In the eighth year of Egfrid*s reign, a comet 
appeared in the month of August. The same year, in con- 
sequence of a dispute between king Egfrid and the most 
reverend T)ishop Wilfrid, the bishop was expelled from his 
see, and two bishops were appointed in his place, namely, 
Bosa, a reverend monk of the monastery of the abbess Hilda, 
who governed the province of Deira, and Eata, the venerable 
abbot of Mailrose, that of Bernicia. The one fixed his epis- 
copal seat in the city of York, the other in the church of 
Hagulstad (Hexham), or at Lindisfarne ; and both were taken 
from their convents for their promotion to be bishops. Eathred 
was also made bishop with them in the province of Lindis- 
farras (Lindsey), which king Egfrid had very recently taken 
possession of, defeating Wulfhere in battle, and driving him 
out of the country. This was the first bishop of its own that 
province had ; the second was Ethelwine, the third Edgar, 
the fourth Cyneberht. Before that, it was superintended by 
Saxwulf, who was also bishop at the same time of the Mer- 

A.D. 678 — 680.] ^VILFIUD — ST. HILDA. 27 

cians and Ea-st-Anirlt"*. I» oonsoquonce, after his expulsion 
from Lludsey, he still continued to govern the two latter i)ro- 
vinces. Eatha'd, Bosa, and Eata were consecrated at Yoik 
by archhishop Theodore. 

Wilfrid, Ix'ing thrust out from his bishopric, intended to go 
to Rome, but after embarking, he was driven by a westerly 
wind to Friesland, where he was the first to do the work of 
an evangelist ; and, converting many thousand barbarians to 
the faith, spent the whiter there in great delight with the 
newly-con\erted ])eoj)le of God. 

[a.d. G78.] The holy Bede was born.^ 

[a.d. 679.] A severe battle was fought between Egfrid 
king of Northumbria and Ethelred king of Mercia, on the 
river Trent, in which kuig Alfwine, brother of king Egfrid, 
■was slain. His sister Osfrith was married to king Ethelred. 

Bishop Wilfrid departing from Friesland ])roceeded to 
Kome, and having been exonerated from the charges against 
him, and found fit for his oflice by sentence of pope Benedict 
and several bishops, he returned to Britain, and converted the 
])i-ovince of the South-Saxons to the faith of Christ. St. 
Ethcldritha, the virgin, abbess of Ely, was taken to the Lord 
from the midst of her flocjk on the ninth of the calends of 
July [2'5i"d June]. Hvv sister Sexburga succeeded to her 

[a.d. 680.] In the sixth year of the reigni of Ethelred, 
king of Mercia, the eighth indiction, archbishoj) Theodore 
comened a synod of the bishops, and great numbers of learned 
men, at a place called Heathfield, that he might ascertain what 
doctrines they severally held, as he had been directed by ])ope 
Agatho, through the medium of John the precentor, who 
was present at this synod. During this king's reign, the 
])rovince of Mercia was divided into five dioceses,- and, in 
consccjucnce, Tatfrlth, a man of ])rofound learning, who 
belonged to the monastery of abbess Hilda, was selected to 
be l)ishop of the flwiccii ; but he died suddenly, before he 
could be consecrated; and, therefore, the reverend man, Bosel, 

^ Florenco is quite incorrect in tho dato ho assigns for tlic birth of 
BeiU'. rt apjxiars to liave Leon in (Mthor (!7:{ or 074. Sco the question 
discussed !ind authorities referred to in the Preface to tho Kccles. Hist. 
p. vi., Axinj. Lib. 

' Litchliold, Worcester (Ilwiccas), Leicester, Lindsoy, and Hereford. 

38 FLORENCE OF >Y011CESTER. [a.D. G81 — 684. 

was shortly afterwards ordained bishop of that province. 
HiUla, the^ devout handmaid of the Lord, abbess of the 
monastery of Streoneshalh (Whitby), and daughter of king- 
Edwin's grandson Hererie, having done the work of heaven 
upon earth, was translated from this world to receive the 
rewards of life in heaven, on the fifteenth of the calends of 
December [17th November], in the sixty-sixth year of her 
age. She founded two monasteries, Streoneshalh and 
Hacanos (Hackness), in which she inculcated justice, devotion, 
continence, and other virtues ; but chiefly peace and charity. 
In a monastery governed by this abbess lived Cedmon, that 
celebrated monk, who received from heaven the free gift of 
poetical inspiration. Oshere, the sub-king, by licence from his 
suzerain, Ethelred, the most excellent king of the Mercians, 
gave a domain containing thirty households, at a place called 
Eippel, to Frithewald, a monk of bishop Winfrid's who has 
been already noticed, in order that he might establish there 
the monastic rule. 

[a.D. 681.] Bede was only seven years old Avhen, being a 
lad of great promise, his relations entrusted him to the most 
reverend abbot Biscop, to be brought up by him. Three 
years after Wilfrid had withdrawn, archbishop Theodore 
ordained Tunbert to the church of Hexham (Eata continuing 
at Lindisfarne) and Trumwine as bishop of the territory of 
the Picts. Eathred, having returned from Lindsey, because 
king Ethelred had recovered possession of that province, was 
set over the church of Ripon. 

[a.D. 682.] Centwine, king of Wessex, drove the Britons 
of the West at the sword's point as far as the sea. The most 
reverend abbot Benedict Biscop, choosing his cousin Euster- 
wine, a priest of eminent piety, and one of his own monks, 
placed the monastery under his rule as abbot. King Egfrid, 
for the redemption of his soul, gave another domain of forty 
families to abbot Benedict, who, sending there twenty-two 
monks, and appointing abbot Ceolfrid, his most strenuous 
supporter on all occasions, to be their superior, founded a 
monastery, by the king's command, at a place called Girvum 

[a.D. 683.J 

[a.D. 684.] Egfrid, king of Northumbria, sent Berht in 
the command of an army to Ireland, who cruelly ravaged the 

A.D. (jSo.^ ST. CUTIinERT— KING EGFKID. 1*0 

inononsivo natives. A synod havine; asscniMed at Twyford 
near the river Aliie, at wliieli king EglVid was present, and 
archbislioj) Tlieodorc j)resided, Tiinbert was deposed from 
his see, and C\ithbert unanimously elected 1)isho]) of Hexham ; 
but as he preferred su})erintending the ehiux'h of Lindisfarne, 
he was permitted to take that bisho])rie, Eatta returning to Hex- 
ham. Benedict Biseop left Britain for Home, for the fifth time. 
[a.d. 685.] Hlothere, king of Kent, having received a 
wound in battle with the East-Saxons, died while it was 
liealing, on Monday, the eighth of the ides, [the Gth] February. 
He was succeeded by Edric, his brother Egbert's son, who 
reigned one year and a half. Britain was swept with a pesti- 
lence which carried death into all quarters, and abbot Eustcr- 
wine, beloved of God, falling a prey to it was taken to the 
Lord ; in whose stead the brethren, after consulting abbot 
Ceolfrid, chose for their abbot, Sigefrid, a deacon belonging 
to the same monastery, and eminent for his sanctity and 
profound study of the scriptures. Biseop returned from Rome 
loaded with presents for ecclesiastical uses, and foreign valu- 
.ables. The consecration of St. Cuthbert took place on Easter 
day, in the presence of king Egfrid ; seven bishops assisting 
at the solemnity, of wdiom archbishop Theodore was primate. 
King Egfrid, having rashly led an army to ravage the 
territory of the Picts, was slain on Saturday, the thirteenth of 
the calends of June [20th May], in the fortieth year of his age, 
and fifteenth of his reign. He was succeeded by his brother 
Alfrid, a i)rince well read in the Scriptures. In the beginning 
of his reign, on the death of the most holy bishop Eata, John, 
a man of sanctity, was appointed bishop of Hexham. Bishop 
Trumwine, that devoted servant of the Lord, returned with 
his companions from the country of the Picts, and selecting 
Streoneshalh for his future abode, spent the rest of his life 
there to his own profit and that of many others ; dying also 
there, he mounted up to the kingdom of heaven. Ceadwalla, 
a most gallant youth of the blood-royal of the Gcwissic,^ slew 
Ethelwalhjking of the South-Saxons, having come upon him by 
surprise at the head of an army ; 1>ut he was shortly after- 
wards driven out by the caldormen Berhtini and Ethelhun, 
who thenceforth assumed the govermnent of the kingdom. 

' Gewissrc ; the West-Saxons ; " OcciJentales," the Westerns. 

30 FLORENCE OF WORCESTEK. [a.D. 686, 687. 

Centwiiio, kincr of the East-Saxons, departed this life, and 
was succeeded by Ceadwalla, just named, who was the son of 
(^ynebert, who was son of Ccadda, who was son of Cutha, 
wiio was son of Ceaulin, who was son of Cynric, who was 
son of Cerdi(\ 

[a.D. 686.] Bishop Wilfrid, after a long exile, returned to 
his see and bishopric of the church of Hexham, at the invita- 
tion of king Alfrid. On the death of Bosa, a most holy and 
lumible man, Jolm, succeeded him as bishop of York. Cead- 
walla, king of the Gewissa?, slew Beorthun, ealdorman of 
Sussex, and reduced that province to severe servitude. He 
and his brother Mull then ravaged Kent ; and afterwards, 
king Ceadwalla himself seized the Isle of Wight, the whole of 
which was till that time lost in idolatry ; and although not as 
yet himself i"egenerated in Christ, he offered bishop Wilfrid 
the fourth part of the island, containing three hundred families, 
to be appropriated to the Lord's service. Wilfrid accej^ted the 
grant, and committing the superintendance to his nephew 
Borwin,^ sent ministers of the Word into the island. Bishop 
Cuthbert, the man of God, having employed two years in his 
episcopal functions, retired again, on a divine warning, to the 
island of Fame. On the death of Edric, king of Kent, that 
kingdom was for some time dismembered by kings of doubtful 
pretensions, or aliens. 

[a.D. 687.] The Kentish-men having cruelly surrounded 
with fire and burnt to death Mull, the brother of Ceadwalla, 
king of the West-Saxons, with twelve of his soldiers, king 
Ceadwalla's indignation was so roused that he again devastated 
Kent. The most reverend father Cuthbert died in the island 
of Fame, on Wednesday, the thirteenth of the calends of 
April [20th March], the fifteenth indiction ; but his body was 
carried to the island of Lindisfarne, and buried in the church. 
Wilfrid, bishop of Hexham, administered Cuthbert's see for a 
year. His successor in the solitary life of his hermitage was 
Ethelwold, a venerable man, whose merits and course of life 
are exhibited in the numberless miracles he wrought. (St. 
Kilian, a Scot, born in Ireland, and bishop of Wurtzburg, 
became eminent.) 

^ According to Bede, his name was Bernwini, and in the Saxon 
version Berhtwine. 

A.D. (}SS, 689.] CEADWALLA— INA. 31 

[a.d. 088.] Ccadwiillii Jilxlicatiiic: iind retiring; to Komo, Tna, 
a jirincc of the royal race who built the monastery of Ulas- 
tonhiiry, succcoiled hhii in his kiuLrdoni. He was the son of 
(V»nre<l, the son of (Jeolwald, the son of Cutha, the son of 
(/Uthwine, the son of Ceaulin. Eadbert was eonsecrated 
in the place of (^ithbert ; he was distinguished for his 
knowledge of the holy Scriptures, as well as the observance 
of the divine precepts, and, most of all, for his liberal distribu- 
tion of alms. The abbots, Benedict Biscop and Sigefrid, 
worn out by long illness, both took to their beds ; in conse- 
(juence, shortly afterwards, lienedict having consulted with 
the brethren, sent for Ceolfrid, to Avhom he had entrusted the 
government of the monastery of St. Paul the apostle, and 
appointed him abbot of both convents, in the fourth indic- 
tion, and on the fourth of the ides [the 12th] of May. The 
venerable abbot Sigefrid, beloved of God, was admitted to 
the enjoyment of eternal rest, and entered the mansions of the 
everlasting kingdom amid the sacrifices of endless praise, on 
Saturday the eleventh of the calends of September [22nd 
August] of the same year. On the death of Putta, bishop of 
Hereford, he was succeeded by Tyrhtell. 

[a.d. 689.] Benedict Bisco]), the successful combatant 
against all vice, and pattern of virtue, after a lingering illness, 
during which he constantly offered thanks to God, was ad- 
mitted to the rest and brightness of the heavenly life on the 
second of the ides [the 12th] of January. Cead walla, king of 
the West-Saxons, was baptized on the holy Saturday of 
Easter [the 10th April] whenSergius was pope; and he died 
at Koine, on Tuesday the 12th of the calends of May [the 
20th Aj)ril], in the third indiction, being about thirty years 
of age. His ei)itapli, com]K)scd ])y command of pope Ser- 
gius, is to the following effect : 

" High rank and power, kindred, ft royal crown, 
Tlie spoils of war, great Iriumplis and renown ; 
NoblcH, juid cities walled to guard liis state, 
His palaces and liis familiar seat; 
"Whatever skill and valf)in- made liis own, 
And what his great forefathers handed down, &;c."^ 

' 'J'lie whole epitaph is given in Bode, Antiq. Lib. ,i). '2 1'j ; ami II cur >/ 
of Iluntiiiijdon, ibift, p. 110. 

2 Fl.OKKXOF. OF WOKCF^^TV.K. [\.T>. GOO 002. 

[v.n. ()00.] ArohMslio\) TIuhhIoiv, of blossinl momovv, 
ioJ on "Moiulny tho tliirt^vntli of tho oalonds of October 
lOtU SoptomborJ in tho oiu;hty-oightl\ yoar oi hi^ ago and tho 
Nvontv-sivond of lib opis^oopaoy. (^Until this time tlio aroh- 
ishops of Canterbury >voro Ixomans, but, honcvforth, thoy 
roro EngUshnion,) 

[a.d. (>01.] Wilfrid, bisliop of Hoxliani, Innng again 
oousod. and oxpoUod from his S(.v by king AltVid and several 
ishops. shorilv afterwards sought a ivtreat uitli Krhelred, 
iuij of Mereia. by whom he was a]>pointoil to the bisho]>rie 
f the Mid-Anolos. At this time, Bosel. bishop of tlie ]>ro- 
iee of the Hwiivas,^ was atHietinl with such In^dily in- 
irmities, that he was unable to fultil his episcopal functions in 
>ei*son ; in ctMisei\uence of which Oft for. a man o{ singular 
\erit and eminent s;\nctity. who had long ivrfornunl the 
tUee of a priest in ablvss Hilda's monastery, but was now a 
>i*oaeher of the wonl in the iH^foro-namcil ]>n^vinco, was 
a-dained bishop as substitute for l>osel, by bishop Wilfrid of 
•IcssihI memory, at the command of king Ethelroil, Wcause 
rchbishop Theodoin> was then dead, and no prelate had Ikhju 
onsivrati^nl in his stead. Wihtivd, son of Eglvrt, king of 
Cent, being establisheil on tlie throne, n^leastnl his subjtvts 
ixnn alien intruders. Swebheard ixMgned jointly with him 
>ver part of the kingtlom. 

[a.i>. 00-.] The venerable Eglvrt, a name always to Iv 
uentioncil with honour, was an Englishman by birth, but 
iavh\g led a pilgrim's life hi Ireland, to stxniro a plaiM? in the 
leaN enly country, he formcil the design of preaching in Ger- 
nany. Not Wing able to carry it into otlect, as it was contrary 
the Divine will, he sent there some holy and diligent men to 
lo the work of the gosjvl, of whom Willibrord was the nn^^st 
nninent, Knh for his n\erit and rank as a priest. They were 

' In the early part of this Chronicle. Florence alvrays designates 
:iy this name what was afterwards calW the bishopric of "Wor- 
cester, and supplies some det,^s respecting it which are not found 
?lsewhore. The Wiccii (Hwiocas. as our author calls them after the 
\nglo-Saxon fonn of the name> Huicii. or Jugautes. were originally a 
powerftil tribe of Britons who inhabited "Worcestershire, Warwickshire, 
»ad the north of Gloucestershire. On the north was a kindred tribe, 
:he Orvlo-Vioes, or noble "Wiccii, who originally possessed Salop, and 
i^art of Cheshire and N. Wales, and sttierwiirds conquered Worcester- 
shire, Ac, from the Wiccii proper. — Whitakrrs Hisivry of MnHcfK^tr. 

A.D. 09-3 097.] ST. WILLIBRORD. 33 

fiwoiirably received l»y Pe]>m the Elder, eliief of the Frank^, 
M"lio sent them to ])reaeh in Hither Friesland. Following 
their example, two priests of the name of Hewald, English- 
men by l)iith, went into Old Saxony, that they might gain 
souls for Christ in that pro\-inee by their preaching ; but tlie 
barbarians no sooner discovered that they were of a difierent 
religion, than they seized them and subjected them to mar- 
t}Tdom, on the fifth of the nones [the 3rd] of Octoljer. 
Willibrord haA'ing received from prince Pepin leave to preach, 
went to Rome, to obtain from pope Sergius license to com- 
mence the work of evansrelisins: the heathen, which Ixfinc; 
gi-anted he returned to his mission. 

Berthwald, abbot of the monastery of Raeulf (Eeculver), 
near the northern mouth of the river Inlade, a man well 
versed in tlie Scriptures, and thoroughly acquainted with the 
rules both of monastic and ecclesiastical discipline, was chosen 
Inshop in Theodore's place. On the death of Oftfor, bishop of 
the Hwiccas,he was succeeded by St. Egwine, and in the course 
of a few years, with the license and support of king Ethelred, 
began to erect the Abbey of E^-esham. 

[a.d. 693.] Berthwald was consecrated bj- Godwin, the 
metropolitan bishop of France, on Sunday the tliird of the 
calends of July [29th June]. Among many other bishops 
consecrated by Godwin, was Tobias, ordained bishop of 
Rocliester, on the death of Gebmund. Bede, the monk, was 
admitted to the order of deacon by John, bishop of York. 

[a.d. 694.] The Kentish-men made peace with Ina, kmg 
of Wessex, by payiug liim three thousand seven hundi-ed and 
fifty pounds, as a mulct for having burnt his brother MuU, 
before mentioned.^ 

[a.d. 695.] The body of St. Etheldritha tlie Yii^gin was 
found without decay, as well as the dress in wliieh it was 
wrapi)ed, after liaving l)een Imried sixteen years. 

[a.d. 696.] St. Willibrord, who was born in Britain of an 
English family, at the request of Pepin eliief of the Franks, 
was ordained of the Frisians, by pope Sergius, 
on the fea,st of tlie Nativity of St. Cecilia the Virgin [22nd 

[a.d. 697.] St. GuthlaCj at the age of twenty-four ycar^ 

^ See note to Saxon Chron. p. 031. Aniir]. Lib, 


;M- FLORENCE OF WOROESTEli. [a.d. G98 — 704. 

ixMicKincinc: Avorklly pomps and relinquishing all his property, 
l»<<T()ok liiiiiself to the monastery of Hrepandun (Reptony and 
reeeived the tonsin*e and monastic habit there under abbess 
AltVyth. Ostln-yth, the queen of Ethelred king of Mercia, 
Avas slain by the South-Humbrians. 

[a.d. ()98.] Tlie body of St. Cuthbert was found eleven 
years after its interment as undecayed as it was at the hour of 
iiis death, as also the robe in which he was buried ; it was, 
therefore, exhumed, and Ixjing AATapped in a new shroud and 
]>hiccd in a fresh coffin was deposited on the floor of the 
sanctuary. In a very short time, bishop Eadbert, the friend 
of God, was attacked with an acute disorder, and not long 
afterwards departed to the Lord on the day before the nones 
[tlie Gth] of JMay. His corpse Avas deposited in the tomb of 
St. Cuthbert, being placed on the chest in which the un- 
♦lecayed remains of that father had recently been inclosed. 
Eadfrid, a man of God, succeeded Eadbert in the bishopric. 

[a.d. 699.] St. Guthlac retired to the isle of Croyland, on 
tlie eighth of the calends of September, [25th August], and 
bea,an to lead the life of a hermit.^ 

[a.d. 700—702.] 

[a.d. 703.] Bede, in his book Be Tcmporibus, thus writes 
in the year in which he composed it : — " If you wish to know 
how many years there are, according to Dionysius, since our 
Lord's Incarnation, reckon the numlier of indictions since the 
fiftli year of Tiberius, which are forty-six ; these multiplied by 
fifteen make six hundred and ninety ; add always the regular 
number of twelve, because, according to Dionysius, our Lord 
was born in the fourth indiction, and also the indiction of any 
year you choose, as, for instance, in the present year one, 
the total is seven hundred and thi-ee. That is the year of 
our Lord according to Dionysius." These are the words of 

[a.d. 704.] Ethelred, king of the Mercians, became a monk 
in the thu'tieth year of his reign,h'esigmng his kingdom to his 

^ Repton in Derbyshire, the residence and biu-ial-place of some of 
the Mercian princes. 

2 See Ingulph ; and Orderictis Vitalig, Anliq. Lib. vol. ii. p. 86. 

•^ Ethelred became abbot of the monastery of Bardney, of his own 


A.D. 705 — 708.] CYNRED AND OFFA CO TO ROME. 35 

nopliew C}iircd. The venerable monk Bcde, at the command 
of Cealfrid his abbot, received the order of priesthood from 
tlie holy John, bishop of York.^ 

[a.d. 705.] Alfrid, king of the Northumbrians, died at 
Driffeld on the nineteenth of the calends of January [14th 
J)ecember] having not quite completed the thirtieth year of his 
reign. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his son Osred, a 
boy about eight years old, "who held it eleven years. In tlie 
commencement of his reign, Hoidda, bishop of the West-Saxons, 
departed to life in lieaven ; on whose death, the bishopric of 
that proA-ince was divided into two dioceses, one of whicli was 
given to Daniel, the other to Aldhehn,- abbot of the monastery 
called jVIailduft' (Malmesbury) ; both being persons well versed 
in ecclesiastical allau's and knowledge of the Scriptures. 
St. Aldlielm was consecrated by the blessed Berthwald, arch- 
bisho]) of Canterbury. 

[a.d. 70G.] 

[a.d. 707.] Bede, having taken priest's orders in the thirtieth 
year of his age, began to employ liimself diligently in writing 
the work, to the composition of wliich twenty-nine years of 
his life were devoted. 

[a.d. 708.] Cynred, king of Mercia, and Offa, king of tlie 
East-Saxons, son of king Sighere, leaving their wives, their 
lands, their kindi-ed and country, for Christ's sake and the 
gospel's, and, having received the tonsure and become monks, 
jiersevered in i)rayer, fiisting, and almsgiving, at the threshold 
of the apostles, to the end of their days ; and thus became 
admitted at last to tlie vision of the blessed apostles in heaven, 
so long the object of their desires. St. Egwine, bishop of the 
llwiccas, accompanied tliem to Rome, on their in\dtation, and, 
having solicited pope Constantino to issue a bull, by which 
security might be given to the monastery he had built in the 

' Thorpe considers this passage to be **an intprpolatioTi, from tlie 
inaccuracy of its date." The year 774, agreeing with this entry, was 
ado])tcd by IVlabillon, and seems to be generally received as tlie date 
of IJedc's birth, and in the next page we tind Florence supplying cor- 
responding detiiils. Some writers fix it as late as 777, and are sup- 
ported by the Chronological Kpitomc at the end of the ]*jCc1cs. Hist. 
It must be observed, however, that the entries in tbis, after tlie year 
7.I1, were supplied by anothrr hand. See the I'reface to the Eccles. 
Hist. {Aul'iq. Lih.)j p. vi. ; and an entry in tiiis Chronicle, p. W. 

* Daniel became bishop of Winchester, and Aldlielm of Sherborne. 

D 2 

;',0 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [A.T). 709 — 714-. 

territory of Worcester against unjust claims, his petition was 

[a.d. 700.] Cynrotl was succeeded in his kingdom by Oeol- 
rod, the son of king Etheh-ed, who liad reigned before Cynred. 
St. Aldliehn, bishop of Wessex_, a man of most extensive learn- 
ing, dejiarted to the Lord. I'orthred (Forthere), his successor 
in the bishopric, was also deeply read in the holy scriptures. 

*' Here Wilfrid's virtues earned the name of Great ; 
Long tossed by perils in this mortal state ; 
Thrice fifteen years a bishop's life he spent, 
Then to the realms above triumphant went." ^ 

His remains were buried with great pomp in the church of St. 
Peter the apostle, in his original monastery of Ripon. On 
his death, his priest Acca received the bishopric of Hexham. 
He was a man of great vigour, honourable in the sight both 
of God and man, a skilful chaunter, deej^ly erudite in sacred 
literature, strict in the true confession of the catholic faith, a 
mirror of continence, and a perfect master of the rules of 
monastic discipline ; he had been formerly a scholar of Bosa, 
bishop of York, beloved by God. 

[a.d. 710.] Berhtfrid, commander of king Osred's army, 
fought a battle with the Picts, in which he w\as victorious. 
Ina, the warhke king of the Gewisssc, and his kinsman Nun, 
engaged in war with Gwent, king of the Britons, and defeated 
liim and put him to flight. The most reverend father Adrian, 
abbot of the monastery of 8t. Peter the apostle, died, and 
was buried in that monastery. He was succeeded by his 
disciple Albinus, who was as much master of Greek and Latin 
as he was of Eno-Hsh, his native tono-ue. On the death of 
T\rhtell, bishop of Hereford, he was succeeded by Forthere. 
^[a.d. 711—713.] 

[a.d. 714.] Guthlac, the brother of Christ's dear virgin 
Pegia, that most exemplary hermit and faithful priest of God, 
who worked miracles without number, breathed out his spirit, 
Avhich was wafted to the joys of eternal triumph, on the third 
of the ides [the 11th] of April, being the fourth day of Easter, 
the twelfth indiction. He was succeeded by Cissa, who was 

^ These lines are extracted, with some variations, from the epitaph 
in Bede, Hist. v. 3U, beginning Wilfridm hie iT/rtw»s, " Wilfrid the 

A.D. 715 — 7-0.] SAXON KIXGS AND SAINTS. 37 

for a lono; tlnio an idolater, Itut lm<l aftorwards been baptized 
in I»iitain. 

[a.d. 71").] Grco^ory (II.) became the eiglitv-eiolith pope, 
and iilled the apo.stolieal see seventeen years and ten months. 
He was chaste and wise, and ordjiined Boniface to the bishopric 
of Mentz, from whom Germany received tlie word of salvation. 
Ina, kinu: of tlie West-Saxons, and Ceohid, kini»- of the ]\Icr- 
cians, fought a battle at a place called Wodnesbeorh. 

[a.d. 71G.] Egbert, the man of God who has been men- 
tioned ])efore, induced the monks of Hii to adopt the Catholic 
nsages with respect to Easter and ecclesiastical tonsure. 
AVlien Osred was slain, Cenred, son of the ilhistrious Cutlnvine, 
succeeded to the go\ernment of the kingdom of Northuml)ria. 
Ceolred, king of tlie Mercians, died, and was buried at Litch- 
field. Ethelbald his cousin, that is, the son of Alwine, who 
was the cousin of his father king Ethelred, became king, as 
St. Guthlac, inspired by a proi)hetical spirit, had predicted to 
him. Ethelred, formerly king of the jNIercians, but afterwards 
abbot of the monastery of Bardney, which he had himself 
founded, departed out of this life, and entered on the joys 
of eternal hap})iness, serenity and light. Abbot Ceolfrid, a 
man of eminent holiness and devotion, died while he was on 
a ])ilgrimage at the city of Langres, in Burgundy, and was 
buried in the church of the fellow martyrs, SS. Speusippus, 
Eleusippus, and jNIeleusippus. Ho was at the time of his death 
sevent}'-f<)ur years of age, lia\'ing been of the order of the 
l)riesthood forty-seven years, and iilled the office of abbot 
thirty-fiN'e years. 

[a.d. 717.] St. Egwuie, the third bishop of the Hwiccns, 
died on Thursday the third of the calends of January [»30th 
December], the fifteenth induction. Wilfrid, a man of 
eminent piety, succeeded to the bishopric of the church of 
AVorcester, having been elected in Egwine's lifetime. 

[a.d. 718.] Cenred, king of the Northumbrians, died, 
and Osric was raised to the throne. Ingils, brother of Ina, 
king of the West-Saxons, ended his life. His sisters were 
SS. Cueiiburh and Culhbuih, who founded a monastery for 
nuns at a place called Winburne. Aldfrith, king of the Nor- 
thiiiiibrians, married (Sithburh, but they both renounee<l 
coiMiuhial intercourse hetbru her dealii, for the Ionc of (iod. 

[a.d. 719, 720.] 

38 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 721 — 728. 

[a.d. 721.] Daniel, l)ishop of Winchester, went to Rome. 
Tlie saiuo year, kino- Ina slew Cyncwulf the Etheling. The Jolin, bishop oi' York, beino- prevented by the weight of 
years from duly perfin-ming- his episcopal functions, conse- 
crated his friend Wilfrid to act for him, and retiring to his 
monastery, which is called " In the Wood of Deira,'* died 
tliere on "the nones [the 7th] of May, having spent the close 
of his days in a course of living agreeable to God. Eadfrid, 
bishoj) of Lindisfarno died, and was succeeded by Ethelwald, 
priest and abbot of Mailrose. 

[a.d. 722.] Queen Ethelburh levelled to the ground the 
castle of Taunton, built some time before by king Ina, who 
fought a battle the same year with the South-Saxons. 

[a.d. 723, 724.] 

[a.d. 725.] Wihtred, king of Kent, son of Egbert, died 
on the ninth of the calends of May [23rd April], leaving three 
sons, Ethelbert, Eadbert, and Alric, heirs to his kingdom, 
which he had held thirty-four years and a half. King Ina, in 
a second battle with the South-Saxons, slew the Etheling 
Aldbriht, whom he had previously driven out of Wessex. 

In this year Bede, the chronologer, composed his " Lesser 
Book of Computation;" for he thus writes: "If you wish to 
know the epact for any year, take the year of our Lord, 
whatever it may be, according to Dionysius, as in the present 
eighth indiction, seven hundred and twenty five ; divide by 
nineteen, multiply nineteen by thirty, and you have five hun- 
dred and seventy, and nineteen multiplied by eight produces 
one hundred and fifty two : subtracting these, three remain ; 
three multiplied by eleven make thirty three ; subtract thirty, 
and three remain, which is the epact for the present year." 
These are Bede's words. 

[a.d. 726.] Tobias, bishop of Bochester died; he had 
learnt Greek and Latin so perfectly that ho knew those 
languages as well, and could use them as familiarly, as his 
native English. He was succeeded by Aldulf. 

[a.d. 727.] 

[a.d. 728.] King Ina, having abdicated, and resigned his 
crown to Ethelward, a descendant of king Cerdic, journeyed 
to the threshold of the blessed apostles in the time of pope 
Gregory (II.), desirous of sojourning for a time as a pilgrim 
near the holy places on earth, so that he might from thence 

A.D. 729 — 731.] SAXON SEES AND BISHOPS. 39 

secure a readier admission into the society of the saints in 
lieavcn. Tlie same year a battle was fought between kino- 
Etlicllmnl and Oswakl, tlie Kthelini»f, wlio was son of Etliel- 
bald, son of Cynebald, son of Chithwine, son of Ceaulin. 

[a.d. 721).] ill the month of January, two comets apj^eared 
round tlie sun, and remained visible nearly two wix'ks. 
Egbert, the man of God we have often mentioned, dei>arted 
to the Lord on Easter-day of this year, which fell on the 
eiglith of the cidends of May [24th April]. Shortly after- 
wards, when Easter was ])ast, on the seventh of the ides [the 
9th] of May, Osric king- of the Northumbrians also died, 
having declared Ceolwulf, brother of his prc<lecessor Kenred, 
his heii". It was to king Ceolwulf that IJede, the serxant of 
God, priest and monk, dedicated his Ecclesiastical History of 
the English nation. Ceolwulf was the son of Cutha, who was 
Sim of (^uthwine, who was son of Egwald, Avho was son of 
Aldhelm, wlio was son of Ocea, who was son of Ida, who 
was son of Eoppa. 

[a.d. 730.] Oswald the Etheling, a most valiant prince, 

[a.d. 731.] Archbishop Berthwald, worn out with old age, 
<lied on the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of January. Pope 
(iregory (11.) die<i on the third of the ides [the llth] of 
February. Tatwine, a priest of the nionastory of Brindun, 
(Breedon Worces.) in the province of Mercia, was conseci'ated 
as archbishop of Canter))ui'y to succeed Berthwald, on Sunday 
tile tenth of tlie month of June, by the following bishops : — 
Daniel of AVinchester, fnguald of London, Aldwine of Litch- 
fH'hl, and Aldulf of lloehester. He was eminent for ]m'[\ 
and wisdom, and amply endowed with the knowledge of sacred 
literature. A})out the year 282, after the arrival of tlie An- 
gles in Britain, 'PatwiiK^ and Aldulf were bisho))s of the 
cliurehes in Kent; Jnguald was ]>ish()j) of the East-Saxon.% 
Eadljcrht and Hathulac were bishops of the province of East- 
Anulia, and J)ani<'l and Foithere of the ])rovince of Wessex ; 
Aldwine was bisliop of tlie pi-ovince of Mercia; Walhstod, of 
the i)eople who live lieyond the river Severn towards the west ; 
Wilfrid of th<3 provinc<' of the Hwiccias,' and Kynebert of 
the ])rovinc<' of Lindisfarne. The bishopric of the Isle of 

' Walhstod of Hereford. Wilfrid of "Worcester. 

-10 FLOUENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 732 — 734. 

Wlolit l>t>lonf>s to Uaniol, bishop of Winchester. The bishopric 
of the Soutli-Saxons having been now for some years void, 
the ])isliop of tlie West-Saxons had been invited to exercise 
tlie i-piscojial functions in it. All tliese provinces, and the 
otliers south of, and as far as, the ri^xH• Huniber, with their 
several kings, were subject to Ethelbald, king of the Mercians. 
As for the pro\ince of the Northumbrians, of which Ceohvulf 
was king, it was divided into four bishoprics, of which 
Wilfrid iield the church in York, Ethelwold in Lindisfarne, 
Acca in Hexham, and Pectelm in that which is called Can- 
dida-Oasa (Whitherne). The Britons were for the most part 
reduced to servitude under the English. 

[a.D. 732.] 

[a.D. 733.] There was an eclipse of the sun on the 
eighteenth of the calends of September, about the third hour 
of the day, so that nearly its whole disc seemed to be covered 
with a very black and fearful spot.^ Acca, bishop of Hexham, 
was driven from his see. 

[a.D. 734.] On the second of the calends of February 
[31st January], about cock-crowing, the moon turned blood- 
red for nearly an hour, then it changed to black, and after- 
wards reassumed its natural brightness. Tatw^ine, archbishop 
of Canterbury, departed this life on the third of the calends 
of August [30th July]. Nothelm, a priest of the church of 
London, succeeded him in the archbishopric. The most holy 
Bede, the venerable priest, the monk worthy of all praise, the 
admirable clu'onologer, died in this year, according to the 
English Chronicles, but in the year following [a.d. 735], 
according to his disciple, Cuthbert, who wTote an account 
of his death, and was present with many others at his de- 
parture. It took place on the Wednesday before the feast 
of our Lord's Ascension ; '^ that is, the eighth of the 
calends of June [2oth May], about the tenth hour, wdien he 
breathed his last in a devout and tranquil frame of mind, and 
so departed with joy to the realms above. He composed an 
account of most of the events which occurred in his own 

^ The true date of this eclipse was the 14th August, 733. 

2 According to Cuthbeit's Letter, Ascension-day foil that year on the 
7th before the calends of Juno, corresponding witli '20th May. In the 
English Historical Society's edition of ])cdc and Florence,' his death 
is placed on the 2?th May, 70.j. 

A.D. 7^U 14:4:.] SAXON KINGS AND BISI10P8. 41 

country (l(^wn to this jioriotl in a clear style, and his lifi» and 
Ins history ended too;ether. We too, God p:indin[>: us, have 
thouo-ht it worth our while to ]>e(|ucath to our I'aithful suc- 
cessors a record of events from the term of his hai)i)y end, 
wliicli we have gathered from the English Chronicles, or the 
credible accoinits of trustworthy persons ; as well as such as 
we have heard ourselves as undoubted facts, and, ui some 
cases, seen M'ith our own eyes, and acciu'ately noted. 

[a.d. 73t>.] Pectelm, bishop of Whitherne died, and was 
succeeded in the bishopric by Frithowald. 

[a.d. 730.] Xothelm, archbishop of Canterbury, received 
the pallium from Gregory (HI.), the eighty-ninth pope. 

[a.d. 7-^7.] Fortherc, bishop of Sherborne, and Frithogith, 
queen of the West-Saxons, went as ])ilgrims to Rome. 

[a.d. 738.] Ceolwulf, king of Northumbria, haAing abdi- 
cated his kingdom and transferred it to Eadbert his cousin, 
son of Eat a, became a monk. 

[a.d. 739.] Ethelwold, bishoj) of Lindisfarne, and Acca, 
bishop of Hexham, paid the debt of nature. Cynewulf 
succeeded Ethelwold, and Acca was succeeded by Frithoberht. 

[a.d. 740.] 

[a.d. 741.] Ethelhard, king of Wessex, died, and was 
succeeded by his kinsman Cuthred, who harassed Ethelbald, 
king of jNIercia, by continued hostilities. On the death of 
Nothelm, the archbishop of Canterbury, on the sixteenth of 
the calends of November [17th October], Cuthbert, who was 
the fifth bishop of Hereford, was raised to the archbishopric. 
Aldwulf, l^ishop of Rochester, also died, and Dunn was con- 
secrated in his place. 

[a.d. 742.] 

[a.d. 743.] Ethell)al(l, king of Mercia, and Cuthred, king 
of Wessex, fought a battle with the Britcms. Wilfrid, bishop 
of the Hwicii, dejiarting tliis life, Avas succeeded by Mildred. 
(St. Boniface, archbishop of Mentz, flourished). Stars were 
seen apjiarently falling fnmi heaven. 

[a.d. 744.] (St. Boniface founded the abbey of Fulda, in 
the wilderness of Bochon.) Wilfrid the younger, archbishop 
of York, died on the third of the calends of May [20th April], 
and Eglx'rt, king Edijcit's brother, was raised to the arehi- 
ojMscopal tlipone. Hnnicl bisjiop of Winchester, venerabk* 
for his great ag<', \nluutarily resigning his olliee, chose to 

42 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 745 — 755. 

rotii'o in tho same city, and Ilunfrith was appointed bishop in 
liis istoad. 

[a.D. 745.] Daniel departed to the Lord, in the forty-tliird 
year from the* time lie was consecrated bLshop, and after long 
struggles in his heavenly warfare. 

[a.D. 74G.] Selred, king of tlio East-Saxons, was slain. 

[a.D. 747.] 

[a.D. 748.] Cynrie, the Etheling of the West-Saxons, was 
slain. Eadbert, king of Kent, died, and his brother Ethel- 
bei't was raised to the throne. 

[A.D. 740.] 

[a.D. 750.] (Pepin was anointed emperor by Boniface, 
archlushop of Mentz, by a decree of pope Zachary, and in 
consequence, the bishops of Mentz are considered to rank 
next to the popes.) Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons, 
fought a battle with the fierce ealdorman Ethelhun. 

[a.D. 751.] 

[a.D. 752.] Cuthred, king of Wessex, in the twelfth year 
of his reign, fought a severe battle with Ethelbald, king of 
the Mercians, near Beorhtford (Burford). 

[a.D. 753.] King Cuthred fought again with the Britons, 
and slew many of them. 

[a.D. 754.] Cuthred, king of the West-Saxons died, and 
his kinsman Sigebert, son of Sigeric, succeeded him. On the 
death of Hunfrith, bishop of Winchester, Cynehard was ap- 
]K)inted in his place. Canterbury was destroyed by fire. 

[a.D. 755.] St. Boniface, the archbishop, while preaching 
tlie word of God in Friesland, suffered martyi\lom in company 
witli many others on the nones [the 5th] of June. Cynewulf, 
a descendant of king Cerdic, with the support of the West- 
Saxon nobles, expelled their king, Sigebert, on account of his 
many unjust acts, and reigned in his stead ; but Cynewulf 
granted him a district called Hampshire,, wdiich he held until 
he unjustly slew Cumbran, the ealdorman, who had adhered to 
him longer than any of the rest. After that, king Cynewulf 
himself marched against him, and drove him into a wood 
which the English called Andred. He abode there for a long- 
time, but at last he was run through with a spear, at a place 
called Privet's-Flood, by a certain herdsman, in revenge for 
the ealdorman*s death. The same king, Cynewulf, very often 
defeated the Britons in great battles. Ethelbald, king of tlie 

A.D. 7i>6— 7C3.] OFFA, KING OP MERCIA. 43 

Mercians, was killed at Sivcoswald, aiul his body convoyed 
to lioptou and buried there. His kingdom was usurped 
)>y the tyrant Beornred, who held it for a short time with 
little joy or comfort, and then lost his crown and his life 
together. On his death he was succeeded by OllU, grandson 
of a cousin of Ethelbald, king of the IVIercians, being a son of 
Thingferth, who was son of Eanwulf, who was son of Osmond, 
who was son of Eop})a, who was son of Wybl)a, the father of 
king Penda. 

[a.d. 7>')C).'\ (Lullus succeeded Boniface in the arch- 
bisiioj)ric of Mentz, which he held thirty-two years.) 

[a.d. 757.] Eadbert, king of the Northumbrians, resigned 
his crown for Iono of his heavenly country, and received the 
tonsure of St. Peter the apostle. Oswulf, his son, assumed the 
government of the kingdom, and after reigning one year was 
slain by the Northumbrians, on the ninth of the calends of 
August p4th July]. 

[a.d. 708.] Cuthl)crt, archbishop of Canterbury, departed 
this life on the seventh of the calends of Novend)er [26th 
()('tol)er]. At this ])eriod Swithred was king of the East- 
Saxons, Osmund of the South -Saxons, and Beorn of the East- 

[a.d. 759.] Breogwin, Cuthbert*s successor, was consecrated 
archbishop on the feast of St. Michael. Moll Ethelwald was 
raised to the throne of Northumbria. 

[a.d. 7G0.] Ethelbcrt, king of Kent, died, and Ceolwnlf, 
the jnost devout monk, formerly the illustrious khig of the 
Northumbrians, passeil to the joys of eternal light. 

[a.d. 701,] The winter of this year was very severe; and 
Moil, king of the Nortluunbiians, slew Oswino, a most noble 
Etheling, near Edwin's-cliif, on the eighth of the ides [the 0th] 
of August. 

[a.d. 702.] Breogwin, archbishop of (Janterbury, died on 
the ninth of the calends of September [21th August]; he 
was succeeded ])y Jainbcrt, abbot of St. Augustine's. 

[a.d. 703.] Jainbert was enthroned as archbishop on the 
feast of the puiiCication of St. Mary [2iid Eel).]. The same 
year Frithowakl, bishoj) of Whit heme, died on the nones [the 
7th] of May ; IV'htwine having been consccratcMl in the 
<listrict crillecl yEili-tc, on the nineteenth of tln^ calends of 
August [I7th .Inly], filled the sec in tlie place of Erithowald. 

44^ FLORENCE OP WOUCESTER. [a.D. 764 — 779. 

[A.r>. 70)4.] Archbishop Jalnbcrt received the pallium from 
jKtpe l*aiil, hi'otlier of his predecessor pope Stephen. 

rA.r>. 7()r).] INloU, king- of the Northumbrians, vacated his 
tlu-one, in ^vhicli lie was succeeded by Alhred, son of Eanwine, 
Avho was son of Byrnhom, who was son of Bosa, who was son 
of Bleacman, avIio Avas son of Ealric, Avho was son of Ida. 

[a.D. 7G6.] Egbert, archbishop of York, died on the thir- 
teenth of the calends of December [19th Nov.] at York ; and 
was succeeded by Etlielbert. Frithobert, bishop of Hexham, 
died ; and was succeeded by Alhmund. 

[a.D. 767.] 

[a.D. 768.] Eadbert, formerly the most illustrious king of 
tlie Northumbrians, and afterwards a monk of eminent piety, 
died on the thirteenth of the calends of September [20th Oct.], 
and was buried in the same porch in which his brother Egbert 
tlie archbishop lies. 

[a.d. 769—773.] 

[a.D. 774.] A red sign, in the shape of a cross, was visible in 
the hea\'ens after sunset. The Mercians and the Kentish-men 
fought a battle at Ottanford. Horrible snakes were seen in 
Sussex, to the wonder of all. During the feast of Easter 
[3rd Ai)ril], the Northumbrians drove their king, Alhred, 
king Moll's successor, from York, and raised Etlielbert, the 
son of Moll to the throne. 

[a.D. 775.] Milred, bishop of the Hwiccas, died ; and 
Wermund succeeded him in the bishopric. 

[a.D. 776.] Pehtwine, bishop of Whitherne, died on the 
thirteenth of the calends of October [19th Sept.]. 

[a.D. 777.] 

[a.D. 778.] . Etlielbert being expelled from his kingdom by 
the Northumbrians, Alfwold was raised to the throne. Cyne- 
wulf king of Wessex, and Oifa king of Mercia, fought a 
desperate battle near Bensington ; but Offa having gained the 
victory, took possession of the town, which he kept. Wer- 
nuuid, l)ishop of the Hwiccas, died ; and was succeeded by 
abbot Tilhere. Etlielbert was ordained bishop of York on the 
twentieth of the calends of July [loth June] at Whitherne. 

[a.D. 779.] Alhmund, bishop of Hexham, died on the 
seventli of the ides [7th] of September ; in whose place Til- 
bert Avas consecrated on the tenth of the nones [the 2nd] of 
October; and Higbald Avas ordained bishop of Lindisfariie 

A.D. 780 — 781.] rvXKIIARD, THE ETIIELIXG. 4.) 

at Soccal)iriir, in tlio room of (Snowulf. KiiiL'- All'wold sent 
onvovs to JloiiR' to doiuand the pallium forEaiil>al(l from pope 
[a.d. 7.^0.] 

[a.d. 78 1. J Tillioro, Msliop of the Hwiccias, being* dead, 
Heatliorcd snccocdcd to his episcopal functions. Ethelbert, 
arclihishop of York, Ej^hert's succesj>or, died; and was suc- 
ceeded by Eanbald. He Avas the scholar of Alhwine, tlie 
jn-cceptor of the cm]icror Charles. A synod was held at 
Aclev. Cynewulf, bisho]) of Lindisfjirnc, and Werburga, 
queen of (Jeolred, formerly king- of the Mercians, died. 
[a.d. 782, 783.] 

[a.d. 784.] When Cynewulf, king- of Wessex, was takinc^ 
measures for ex])elling' Cynehard, who, being king Sigebert's 
brother, was the Etheling, it chanced that he came with only 
a few attendants to a vill called in English Merton, to visit 
some woman. The etheling, learning this, instantly collected 
a band of his retainers, and hastened to the spot with great 
glee. On his arrival, tin<ling all the world asleep, he had the 
chamber in which the king lay closely beset on all sides by 
his followers. The king being alarmed, leai)t from the bed, 
and seizing his arms, opened the chamber-door, and fought 
stoutly in resistance to his assailants. At length, getting 
siglit of the etheling, he rushed forth to attack hhn, and gave 
him a severe wound. Seeing this, the whole band of the 
etheling's soldiers fell on the king, and wounded and slew 
him. The woman, uttering cries of terror and grief, fills 
the chamber with her lamentations. The few trooj)s who were 
in attendance on the king run to the spot, and find their 
master, whom they had just before left alive, lying dead. 
At this they arc roused to such a pitch of fury, that 
<lra\ving- their swords they make a des})erate rush on his 
nun-derers. The etheling endeaAOurs to ])acify them, pro- 
mising to each a large sum of money, besides spariilg their 
lives, if they will withdraw ; they, however, reject his oilers, 
and contiiuie the combat till they all perish, except one 
British hostage, who was desperately wounded. When morn- 
ing came, and the news of the king's death got abroad, his 
ealdorman Osric, who was nuich attached to him, and Wiferth, 
liis most faithful thane, hastened to the spot with all the ibrci* 
the king had left behind the day before ; but they find all the 

40 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 785 — 788. 

gatos barred. Wliilc they are trying to burst them open, the 
c'theHng boklly advances to them, promising them that he 
Avill cheerfully heap on them gold, silver, honours, whatever 
they severally coveted, if they will only raise him to the royal 
throne : he suggests also, that there are many of their relations 
on liis side, who are ready to follow him to the death, rather 
than be induced to abandon him on any pretence. The royal 
trooi)s I'cject his offers, and earnestly entreat their Idnsmen to 
desert their lord and depart home in safety with all possible 
despatch. But the etheling's party replied : — " What you 
offer us, we proposed to your comrades who fell with the 
king ; but as they would not attend to our summons, neither 
wdll we obey yours on the present occasion." On receiving 
this answer, the royal troops advance, force open the doors, 
level the barricades, and put the etheling and all his followers, 
in number eighty-foiu*, to the sword, except only his little son 
who was severely wounded. The king's corpse was conveyed 
to Winchester for interment ; the etheling's was buried in the 
monastery at Axminster. 

[a.D. 785.] A synod was held at a place called in English, 
Cealch-h^i:he, wdiere, after much wrangling, archbishop Jain- 
bert lost a small portion of his diocese.^ Berthun, bishop of 
Dorchester, dying, Higbert was chosen by OfFa, king of 
Mercia, to succeed him in his bishopric ; and OfFa's son 
Egfert was consecrated king. 

[a.D. 786.] 

[a.D, 787.] Brihtric, king of Wessex, married Eadburga, 
king Offii's daughter ; in his time, Danish pirates came to 
England with three ships. The Idng's reeve hearing of their 
arrival hastened to meet them with a few followers, and being 
in eiithe ignorance who they were, or whence they came, 
tried to drive them, unwilling as they were, to the royal vill, 
but they presently slew him. These were the first Danes who 
landed in England. 

[a.D, 788.] A synod was held at Pincanhale (Finchall) 

^ Cealchythe; Chelsea? which was called Clieloethe as late as the 
end of the fifteenth centnry. Tins synod was held for tlie purpose of 
estabhshing an independent arcliiepiscopal see for the l<mgdom of 
Mercia, when Lichfield was chosen as the place, and Higeberht as the 
first metropolitan ; within whose province was comprised all the sees 
between the Thames and the Humber. 

A.D. 789 — 794.] ALFWOLB — ETHELRERT. 47 

in Nortlmmbria, on tliu Iburtli of the nones [the 2nd] of 

[a.d, 789.] Alfwold king of the Northum'brian.s -svas in- 
famously assassinated by a man named Sigan (m the ninth of 
the calends of Oetoher [l?3rd September] ; and was inteiTed 
in the church of St. Peter, at Hexham. A strong light from 
heaven was fre(iuently observed on the spot where he was 
murdered. He was succeeded in his kingdom by his nephew 
Osred, king Alehred's son. 

[a.d. 790.] Jainbert, archbishop of OanterTmry, died on the 
second of the ides [l^tli] of August; andEthelhard succeeded 
him. Osred being dethroned and driven out by the Northum- 
brians, Ethelred, Alfwold's brother was restored to his kingdom. 

[a.d. 791.] Beadulf was ordained bishop of Whitherne on 
the sixteentli of the calends of August [17th July]. 

[a.d. 792.] Osred, who had been expelled from his kingdom 
by the Northumbrians, was seized and barbarously put to 
death on the eighteenth of the calends of October [14th 
8ej>tember]. He was buried in the monastery at the mouth 
of the river Tyne. 

[a.d. 793.] Ethelbert, the most glorious and holy king of 
the East- Angles, whose eminent virtues rendered him accept- 
able to Christ, the true King, and who was courteous and 
allable to all men, lost at once both his kingdom and his 
life, being beheaded by the detestable commands of Offa, the 
mighty king of Mercia, at the infamous suggestion of his own 
wife, queen C^Tiefrith ; but though inicpiitously slain and 
deprived of his kingdom, the king and martyr entered the 
coTU-ts of the blessed s]iirits, while the angels rejoiced in 
triumph. The consecration of Ethelhard was cele- 
brated on twelfth of the calends of August [21st July]. 

[a.d. 794.] Ethelred, king of the Northumbrians, was 
slain by his subjects; in conse(|Ucnce, Ceohvulf, bishop of 
Lindisfarne, and bishop Eadbold, departed the kingdom. 
Eadbert, surnamcd Pren, began to reign in Kent. Ofla, king 
of Mercia, dyuig on the fourth of the calends of August 
[29th July], his son Egbert succeeded to the glory of his 
kingdijm, but only reigned one hundred and forty-0!ie 
days, ending his life tlie same year. Mv was succeeded by 
Kenulf, a magnificent ])rinc^e, wlio was blessed with a saintly 
ollspring, and rided the kingdom with peace, justice, and piety. 

.l>>i FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 795 — 812. 

[a.d. TIK").] 

[a.d. 790.] Kcniilf, king- of Merela, ravaged nearly all 
Kent, and taking prisoner its king, Prcn, carried him away in 
chains Avitli him to Mereia. 

[a.d. 797.] 

[a.d. 798.] The body of 8t. Wihtbnrg, the Virgin, daugh- 
ter of Anna, king of the East- Angles, and sister of the sainted 
virgins, 8exl)nrga, Ethelbnrga, and Etheldritha, Avas discovered 
in a state of incorruption after it had been buried nearly 
fifty-five years at tlie vill, called Dyrham. Heathored, bishop 
of the Ilwiccias, died, and Deneberht was chosen and conse- 
crated in his stead. 

[a.d. 799.] Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, and 
Kineberht, bishop of Winchester, went to Rome. 

[a.d. 800.] Brihtric, king of Wessex, died, and was suc- 
ceeded by Egbert. It happened that on the very day on 
whicli Brihtric died, Ethelmund, ealdorman of Mereia, led an 
expedition out of Mereia, and crossed the ford called, in 
English, Cymeresford. On hearing of his advance, Weohstan, 
ealdorman of Wiltshire, marched against him with the men of 
Wilts, and, after an obstinate engagement, in which numbers 
fell on both sides, and both the ealdormen were slain, the 
Wiltshire men gained the victory. Alhmund, son of Alhred, 
king of Nortliumbria, was killed. 

[a.d. 801.] 

[a.d, 802.] Higbald, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and 
Egbert being elected his successor, Avas consecrated by Ean- 
bald, archbishop of York, on the third of the ides [2nd] of 
June. Wermund, bishop of Rochester, dying, Beornmod was 
consecrated in his stead. 

[a.d. 803.] Ethelhard, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and 
was succeeded by Wulfred. 

[a.d. 804.] Archbishop Wulfred received the pallium 
from pope Leo. 

[a.d. 805.] The church of St. Alban's was dedicated on 
the 1st of December in this year. Cutln'ed, king of Kent, 
Heaberht, the ealdorman, and Ceolburga, abbess of Berkeley, 

[a.d. 806—811.] 

[a.d. 812.] Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, and 
Wibcrht, bishop of Sherborne, went to Rome. 

A.D. 813 823.] WULFRED ST. KEXELM. 49 

[a.d. 813. J Archbishop Wulfred returned to his see Avith 
the benediction of pope Leo. The same year, Egbert, king 
of Wcssex, ravaged the Western Britons on theii* eastern 

[a.d. 814, 815.] 

[a.d. 816.] Tlie English-school at Rome was destroyed 
bv fire. 

' [a.d. 817, 818.] 

[a.d. 819.] St. Kenulph, king of Mercia, after a life spent 
in good deeds, was translated to eternal bliss in heaven, leav- 
ing his son (St.) Kenehn, a boy seven years old, heir to his 
kingdom. A few months only had elapsed when, betrayed by 
the artifices of his sister Quendryth, whose conscience was 
hardened by her fierce ambition, the young king was fiercely 
set u])on and secretly murdered by Ascebert, his cruel 
guardian, under a thorn-tree in a vast and dense wood ; 
but as heaven alone was witness to his murder, so heaven 
revealed it by the testimony of a column of liglit. Kenelm's 
innocent head fell to the ground, pure and milk-white as it 
was at liis birth ; from it a milk-white dove soared to 
heaven on golden wings. After his blessed martyrdom, Ceol- 
wulf succeeded to the kingdom of Mercia. Egbert, bishop 
of Lindisfiirne, died, and waii succeeded by Heathored. 

[a.d. 820.] 

[a.d. 821.] Ceolwulf, king of Mercia, was deprived of 
his kingdom. 

[a.d. 822.] Burhelm and Muca, two most resolute ealdor- 
men, were slain. A synod was held at a place called Clove- 
sho. Deneberht bishop of the Hwiccas, died, and was 
succeeded by Heaberht. 

[a.d. 823.] The Britons were defeated at a place called 
Gavulford (Camelford ?) by the men of Devonshire. Egbert, 
king of Wessex, and Beornwulf, king of Mercia, fought a 
battle at Ellandune, that is Ealla's-hill, and Egbert gained the 
victory with great slaughter. In consequence, he soon after- 
wards sent his sonEtliehvulf, andEalhstan, bishop of Sliorborne, 
and his ealdorman Wulfliard, with a large army, into Kent, 
who, immediately on their, drove Baldred king of that 
province from his kingdom. After tliese successes, the men 
of Kent and Surrey, Sussex and Essex, voluntarily submitted 
to king Egbert; those provinces having been wrested in fonner 


50 FLORENCE OF AVORCESTER. [a.D. 824 — 827. 

times from the hands of his kinsmen, and reluctantly compelled 
to sul.)mit to the yoke of alien kings for the space of some 
years. The East- Angles, also, with their king, sent envoys to 
Egbert, king of Wessex, imploring him to be their protector 
and tower of defence against the hostile inroads of the 
Mercians; which petition he granted, and promised them 
his ready aid in all emergencies. However, Beornwulf, king 
of ^lercia, treated this compact with contempt, and assembling 
a considerable army entered the territories of the East- Angles 
in a hostile manner, and began to put to death their principal 
people; but their king advanced against the enemy at the 
head of his forces, and giving them battle, put king Beorn- 
wulf and the greatest part of his army to the sword: his 
kinsman Ludecan succeeded to his Idngdom. 

[a.D. 824.] 

[a.D. 82o.] Ludecan, Idng of Mercia, having assembled 
his forces, marched his army into the province of the East- 
Angles, to revenge the death of his predecessor Beornwulf. 
The people of that country with their king speedily en- 
countered him, and a desperate battle was fought, in which 
Ludecan and live of liis ealdormen, and great numbers of his 
troops fell, and the rest took to flight : Witilaf succeeded to 
the honours of his kingdom. 

[a.D. 826.] 

[a.D. 827.] There was an eclipse of the moon on the holy 
night of the Nativity of our Lord.^ The same year, Egbert, 
king of Wessex reduced the kingdom of Mercia under his 
own dominion. Then he extended his expedition to the 
further side of the river Humber. The Northumbrians met 
Jiim in peaceful guise at a place called Dore, and offered him 
terms of alliance and humble submission ; and so they parted 
witli great satisfaction on both sides. 

This king Egbert was the eighth among the Idngs of the 
English nations who ruled over all their southern provinces, 
separated by the river Humber and neighboiu-ing boundaries 
from those which lie to the north. The first who held this 
•extended dominion was ^Ua, Idng of the East-Saxons ; the 
second Celin, king of the West-Saxons, called in their 
dialect Ceaulin ; the thu"d was Ethelbert, king of Kent ; the 

1 This eclipse happened on the 25th December, 828. 

A.D. 828 — 835.] THE bretwaldas. 51 

fourth wiis Redwald, king of the Ecost- Anglos, who governed 
that peoj)le as ealdorman even in Ethelbert's liie-tinie ; the 
fifth was Edwin, king of the Xorthmnbriaii tribes, that is, 
those who dwelt to ihe north of the river Huiiiber, the most 
powerful of all the settlers in Britain. Redw :dd's dominion 
extended o\'er the whole population, both Engl!:^h and British, 
except that of Kent ; and he subjected to English rule the 
ISIenavian islands which lie between Ireland and EnglancL 
The sixth monarch of all England, he himself being the most 
christian kuig of Xorthiunbria, was Oswald. The seventh 
was Oswy, who for a time maintained his supremacy within 
nearly the same limits, and to a very great extent subjugated 
the Picts and Scots who inhabit the northern extremities of 
Britain, making them tributaries. The eighth, as we have 
already stated, was king Egbert. In liis time, as it is re- 
ported, St. Swithin was born, who, sprung from a noble Ime 
of ancestors, when liis youthful years were passed, was ad- 
mitte<l to holy orders by St. Helmstan, bishop of Winchester. 
King Egbert also committed his son Ethel wuJf to his care for 
instruction in sacred learning. 

[a.d. 828.] King Witglaf was reinstated in his kingdom 
of Mercia. Heathorcd, bishop of Luidisfarne, died, and was 
succeeded by Ecgred. Egbert, king of Wessex, led an army 
into the territory of the Northern Britons, and in spite of then* 
opposition reduced them to subjection. 

[a.d. 829.] Wulfred, archbishop of Canterbury, died. 

[a.d. 830.] Ceolnoth was elected and consecrated arch- 

[a.d. 831.] 

[a.d. 832.] The Danish pu-ates, greedy for plunder, ravaged 
the isle of Sheppy. 

[a.d. 833.] Egbert, king of Wessex, engaged the pirates 
at Carrum (C'harmouth) with thirty-five ships, but after great 
<?arnage in the battle the Danes remained victors- 

[a.d. 834.] 

[a.d. 835.] The Danes made a descent with a powerful 
fleet on the territory of the Britons in the West, which is called 
Curvallia (Cornwall) ; the Britons made an alliance with them, 
and, uniting their forces, they laid Avaste the borders of king 
Egbert's dominions. Receiving intelligence of this, Egbert 
assembled his troops in great haste, and i^iving the enemy 


o2 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 836 — 844. 

battle at a place called Hengestesdun, that is Hengist's-mount, 
he slew many of them and put the rest to flight. 

[a.D. 830.*] Egbert, king of Wessex, died. He had been 
driven out of England by Offa king of Mercia, and Bertrie 
king of Wessex, before he became king, and went to France, 
where he sojoumed three years: he then returned to England, 
and on Berhtric's death assumed the go^-ermnent of Wessex, as 
already mentioned. After Egbert's death his son Ethelwulf 
began to reign in Wessex, and made his son Athelstan king 
over the people of Kent, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex. 

[a.D. 837.] Wulfhard, the ealdorman, attacked a piratical 
fleet of thirty-four ships at Hamtun (Southampton), and gained 
t!io victory with great slaughter : he died soon afterwards. 
Ethelhelm, the ealdorman, with the assistance of the people of 
Dorsetslure, engaged in a battle with the Danes in the terri- 
tory of Port (Portland island), and compelled them to a long 
retreat, during which he received a mortal womid, and the 
Danes got the victory. In the reign of king Ethelwulf, St. 
Hehnstan, the bishop, departed this life; and by the king's 
command St. Swithin became his successor. 

[a.D. 838.] Hercberht, the ealdorman, and vast numbers of 
the Mercians, at the same time, were slain by the heathen 
Danes. The same year multitudes were put to the sword by 
the same party in the pro\ince of Lindsey in East-Anglia, and 
in Kent. Witglaf king of Mercia died, and was succeeded 
by Beorhtwulf. 

[a.D. 839.] There was an eclipse of the sun on the third 
of the nones [the 5th] of May, being the eve of Ascension- 
day, between the eighth and ninth hour. The Pagans, so 
often mentioned, slaughtered numbers in London, Cwentawic,^ 
and Rochester. 

[a.D. 840.] Ethelwulf, king of Wessex, engaged with 
thirty-five ships at Charmouth, but the fortune of the Danes 
prevailed over the Saxons. 

[a.D. 841—844.] 

^ "Quentavich the ancient name of Etaples, or St. Josse-sur-mer, 
between Boulogne and St. Yalery. However one MS. of the Saxon 
Chronicle reads ' Cant wara-by rig,' and two MSS. ' Cantwic,' which 
readings, together with the place being named in conjunction with 
London and Eochester, render it very probable that Canterbury is 
meant, and not the little French sea-port." — Thorpe. 

A.D. 84:5 849.] KING ALFRED BORN. 53 

[a.d. 845.] Eanwulf, the ealdorman, Avitb the men of 
Somerset and Ealhstan, bishop of Sherborne, and Osric the 
ealdorman, witli tlie men of Dorset, fought witli the Danish 
anny at the mouth of the river Pedridan (tlie Parret), and 
having made great slaughter amongst them, gained the victory. 
Eegrid, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and vvas succeeded by 

[a.d. 846, 847.] 

[a.d, 848.] Heaberht, the bishop of the Hwicea*, died, and 
Alhhun succeeded. 

[a.d. 849.] Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, was born at 
the royal vill called Wanating, (Wantage), in Berrocescire, 
■which is so called from the wood of Berroc, where the box-tree 
grows in great abundance. His genealogy runs in the follovving 
order : — Alfred was the son of king of Ethelwulf, who was the 
son of Egbert, who was the son of Alhmund, who was the 
son of Eafa, who was the son of Eoppa, who was the son of 
Ingils. Ingils, and Ina, the famous king of Wessex, were 
brothers ; Ina went to Rome, and ending the present life there 
in great honour, departed to his country in heaven to reign 
with Christ. These two were the sons of Coenred, who was 
tlie son of Ceolwald, who was the son of Cutha, who was the 
son of Cutliwine, who was the son of Ceaulin, who was the son of 
Cynric, who was the son of Creoda, who was the son of Cerdic, 
who was the son of Elesa, who was the son of Esla, who was 
the son of Gewis, from whom the Britons call the whole 
nation Gewissa?. Gewis was the son of Wig, who was the 
son of Freawine, who was the son of Freothegar, who was the 
son of Brand, who was the son of Bealdeag, who was the son 
of Woden, who was the son of Frithowald, who was the son of 
Frcalaf, who was the son of Frithwulf, who was the son of 
Finn, who was the son of Godulf, who was the son of Geata, 
iv'ho was formerly worshipped ])y the Pagans as a god. Geata 
was the son of Tajtwa, who was the son of Beaw, who was 
the son of Sceldwea, who was the son of Heremond, who was the 
son C)f Itermod, who was the son of Hathra, wlio was the son 
of Wala, who was the son of Beadwig, who wjis the son of 
Shem, who was the son of Noah, who was the son of Lamech, 
who was th(^ son of Methuselah, who was the son of P^noch, 
who was the son of Jared, who was the son of Malaleel, who 
was the son of Cainan, who was the son of Enos, who was the 

04 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 850, 851. 

son of Sotli, who was the son of Adam. His mother's name 
was Osburh ; she was a woman of eminent piety, noble 
both in mind and lineage, being the daughter of Oslae, the 
renowned cup-bearer of king Ethelwiilf; which Oslac was 
of Gothic race. He was sprung from the Groths and Jutes, 
beino- descended from Stuf and Whitgar, two brothers, and 
also earls, who having received the dominion of the Isle of 
Wight from their uncle Cerdic, and his son Cynric their 
cousin, massacred the few British inhabitants they found in the 
island at a place called Whitgaraburh (Carisbrook). The rest 
of the native inhabitants of the island had been either slain 
before, or driven into exile. 

[a.D. 850.] Berhtferth, son of Beorhtwulf, Idng of Mercia, 
unjustly put to death his cousin St. Wigstan on the calends 
[the 1st] of June, being the eve of Whitsuntide. He was 
grandson of two of the kings of Mercia, his father Wigmund 
being the son of king Wiglaf, and his mother Elfrida, the 
daughter of king Ceolwulf. His corpse was carried to a 
monastery which was famous in that age called Repton, and 
buried in the tomb of his grandfather king Wiglaf. Miracles 
from heaven were not wanting in testimony of his martyrdom ; 
for a column of light shot up to heaven from the spot where 
the innocent saint was murdered, and remained visible to the 
inhabitants of that place for thirty days. 

[a.D. 851.] Ceorl, the ealdorman, with the men of Devon- 
shire, fought against the Pagans, at a place called Wicgan- 
beorh (Wemburg), and the Christians gained the victory. In 
tlie same year, the Pagans wintered for the first time in the 
isle of Sheppey,^ which means the island of sheep. It is 
situated in the river Thames, between Essex and Kent, but 
nearer Kent than Essex, and a noble monaster}'- stands in it. 
The same year a great army of Pagans came vrith three hun- 
dred and fifty ships into the Inouth of the river Thames, and 
ravaged Canterbury, which is the chief city of Kent, and 
London which stands on the north bank of the river Thames, 
on the borders of Essex and Middlesex, though, in truth, that 
city belongs to Essex. They put to flight Beorhtwulf king of 
Mercia who had advanced to give them battle, with all his forces. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle, which says in the Isle of Thanet, is appa- 
rently correct, as it places thejirst wintering of the Danes in Sheppy, 
A.D. 855. 

A.D. 852, 853.] KING ETIIELWULF. 55 

After these events, the same body of Pagans crossed into 
Surrey, which lies on the south bank of the river Thames, to 
the westward of Kent ; and Etliehvulf king of Wessex, and 
his son Etlielbald, with their whole army, had a protracted 
engagement with them, at a place called Ocklcy, which means 
the Field of Oaks. The armies on both sides fought for a 
long time with the greatest ardour and animosity, but at last 
the greatest part of the Pagan host was utterly routed and 
put to the sword ; so much so that we have never heard of so 
many of them being slain in any quarter, on one day, either 
before or since ; and the Christians gained a glorious victor}^ 
and remained masters of the field of death. The same year, 
also, king Athelstan and Ealliere, the ealdorman, defeated a 
large body of the Pagans in Kent, at a place called Sand- 
-vTieh, and took nine ships of their fleet : the rest escaped by 

[a.d. 852.] King Beorhtwulf, king of Mercia, died ; and 
Burhred succeeded to the throne. 

[a.d. 853.] Burhred, king of Mercia, sent envoys toEthel- 
widf, king of Wessex, beseeching him to afford him aid in 
reducing to subjection the Britons who inhabited the central 
districts between IMercia and the western sea, who stoutly 
resisted him. Ethelwulf lost no time, after he receixed 
this message, in putting his army in march, advancing into the 
territory of tlie Britons in company with king Burhred, and 
as soon as he entered it he laid waste the country and 
forced the people to submit to the dominion of Burhred: 
having accomplished this he returned home. 

This same year, king Ethelwulf sent his son Alfred, before 
mentioned, to Rome, with great pomj), and a numerous retinue, 
both of nobles and commoners. Pope Leo, at l)is father's 
request, consecrated and anointed him king, and receiving him 
as his son by adoption, confirmed him. 

The same year also, Ealhere, the ealdorman, with the men 
of Kent, and Huda, with those of Surry, fought with vigour 
and courage against the Pagan army in the island, which is 
called in the Saxon language Tenet, but in the British Iluim. 
At first th(,' Britons ha<l the advantage, but the struggle being 
protrarted, many on botii sides were killed on the spot, and 
others driven into the water and droxvned; and l)oth the ealdor- 
men perished. Moreover, the same year, Ethelwulf, king of 


Wessox, gave his daughter as queen to Burhred, king of Mercia, 
the nuptials being celebrated with princely pomp at the royal 
\ill called Cippenham. 

[a.D. 854.] On the death of Eanbert, bishop of Lindis- 
ftirne, he was succeeded by Eardulph. 

[a.D. 855.] A great army of the Pagans passed the whole 
winter in the aforesaid isle of Sheppey. In the same year 
king Ethelwulf released the tenth part of his whole kingdom 
from all royal service and tribute, and by a charter, signed 
^vith Christ's Cross, offered it for ever to the One and Triune 
God, for the redemption of his soul and of those of his prede- 
cessors. He then went to Kome in great state, taking with him 
his son Alfred, whom he loved more than the others, and who 
now went for the second time ; and he abode there a whole year. 
On its expiration, he returned to his own country, bringing 
with him Judith, daughter of Charles, king of the Franks. 
Meanwhile, however, during the short period of king Ethel- 
wulf 's sojourn beyond sea, a disgraceful affair, opposed to all 
Christian rules, occurred at Selwood, in the west of England. 
For king Ethelwald, with Eahlstan bishop of Sherborne, and 
Eanwulf, ealdorman of Somersetshire, are said to have formed 
a conspiracy to prevent king Ethelwulf from re-assuming the 
government of his kingdom, if he ever returned from Borne. 
This unfortimate business, such as was unheard of in any 
former age, is attributed by very many persons to the bishop 
and ealdorman only, by whom they assert the scheme was 
contrived. Many persons, however, say that it had its origin 
solely in the king's haughtiness, for, as we have heard it re- 
lated by some persons, the king obstinately persisted in that 
as well as in many other perverse dispositions, as was proved 
by the issue of the affair. For when king Ethelwulf returned 
from Rome, his before-named son, with his counsellors, or 
rather intriguers, attempted to commit the grievous crime of 
forcibly refusing the king's re-admission into his own do- 
minions. Eut God did not permit it, nor would the unite<l 
Saxon nobles concur in the proposal ; for, to prevent Saxony 
(Wessex) from being exposed to the irremediable danger of 
hostiUties between father and son, nay more, of the whole 
of the nation being in arms for one or the other, and this 
sort of civil war growing every day more fierce and bloody, 
the kingdom, which had been hitherto one entire realm, was, 


througli Ethelwulf's great easiness of temper, and ^vith tlie 
concurrence of the nobles, divided between the father and the 
son ; the eastern districts being allotted to the father, and the 
western to the son. Thus, where the father ought by all 
rules of justice to have reigned, the ini([uitous and wilful son 
establislied his ])ower, for the western part of Saxony has 
always had the i)re-eminence over the eastern. So, when king 
Ethelwulf arrived from Rome, all that people were verr 
pro})erly so delighted at the return of their old king, that 
they Avished, if he would have allowed it, to deprive his 
fro ward son Ethel wald, and his ad\'isers, of any sliare in the 
kingdom. But he, as we have already said, actuated by his 
excessi\e gentleness and by prudent comisels, to prevent 
j)eril to the kingdom, would not allow it to be done ; but he 
made Judith, daughter of king Charles, from whom he had 
received her in marriage, to sit beside him on the royal 
throne, as long as he lived, without any controversy or enmity 
from his nobles, contrary to the perverse custom of that 
nation. Eor the West-8axon people do not allow a queen to 
sit by the king's side, nor even give her the title of queen, 
calling her only the king's wife ; which controversy, or stigma, 
originated from a certain froward and evil-minded queen of 
tliat nation, as our elders thus report : — There was recently 
in Mercia a certain powerful king named Oft'a, whose daughter, 
Eadburli, was married, as we have said l)efore, to Berhtric, 
king of Wessex, who \ery soon began to act tyrannically, 
doing all things hateful to God and man, and accusing all she 
could ])efore the king, so as to deprive them insidiously of 
their life or power ; and if she could not procure the king's 
consent, she used to take them oft' by poison. This is ascer- 
tained to have been the case with a certain young man who 
was much loved by the king, whom she poisoned because the 
king would not listen to her accusations against him. It is 
also said that king Berhtric unwittingly tasted some portion 
of the ])oison, although she did not intend it for the king, but 
for the young man only ; but the king took the cup first, and 
so both perished. In consequence of this queen's atrocities, 
all the inhabitants of that country swore together that they 
would not surt'er anv kinG: to reiij:n over them who should 
command his queen to sit beside hun on the throne. Berlitric 
being dead, as the queen could no longer remain among the 


Saxons, she sailed over the sea with immense treasures, and 
went to the court of Charles, the renowned Idng of the 
Franks. As she stood in the presence chamber, offering him 
rich presents, Charles said to her, " Choose, Eadburh, which 
you prefer, me or my son who stands beside me in the 
chamber.'' She foolishly replied, without a moment's thought, 
** If I am to have my choice, I prefer your son, because he is 
younger than you." Charles replied, with a smile, " If you 
had chosen me, you should have had my son ; but as you have 
chosen him you shall have neither of us." However, he gave 
her a large abbey of nuns, where, liaving laid aside the secular 
dress and assumed the monastic habit, she discharged the 
duties of abbess for a very few years; for having been 
debauched by some layman, she was expelled from the 
monastery by Idng Charles's order, and passed the rest of her 
days in want and misery.^ 

King Ethelwulf lived two years after his return from 
Rome ; during which, among many other good deeds of this 
present life, reflecting on his departure according to the way 
of ail flesh, to prevent liis sons indecently quarrelling after his 
death, he ordered letters testamentary to be written, in which 
he divided his kingdom between his two eldest sons, Ethelbald 
and Ethelbert, and his private inheritance between all his sons 
and his daughter, as well as his relations ; he also gave 
directions in the same instrument for the due distribution of 
the money he might leave behind him for the good of his 
soul, and among his sons and his nobles. For the good of his 
soul, which he had carefully studied on all occasions from 
his earliest youth, he ordered that his heirs should, out of 
every two families on his hereditary domains, supply one 
poor person, either native or foreigner, with meat, drink, and 
clothing, for ever afterwards, until the day of doom ; provided 
that the land was inhabited and stocked with cattle, and not 
lying waste. He also directed that the sum of three hundred 
mancuses should be yearly remitted to Rome, to be there 
distributed in the following manner, -vdz., one hundred 
mancuses, in honour of St. Peter, to be specially applied in 
purchasing oil for fillmg all the lamps of the apostolical church 

^ One MS. adds, " So that, at last, acccompauied by one poor ser- 
vant, as we have heard from many who saw her, she begged her bread 
daily at Pavia, where she lived in great misery." 


on Easter-eve, and also at cock-crowing; one hundred nianeiises 
in honour of St Paul, the apostle, for the same purpose ; and 
one hundred niancuses to the catholic and apostlic pope. 

Kinix Ethelwulf having- died on the ides [the 18th] of 
January, and l>een huried at Winchester, his son Ethelbald, 
contrary to the divine prohibition and Christian honour, 
and even the customs of all Pagan nations, ascended his 
father's l>ed, and marrie<:l Judith, the daughter of Charles, 
kin? of the Franks ; and thus licentiouslv governed the 
kingdom of Wessex for two years and a half after his father's 

8t. Edmund, a man accepted by God, and descended 
from the Old-Saxon race, who was most truly devoted to the 
Christian faith, aiflible and courteous to all men, remarkable for 
his hiunility, a generous benefactor to the poor, and a most 
kind father to or])hans and widows, took the government of 
the province of East-Anglia. 

[a.d. 856—859.] 

[a.d. 860.] King Ethell)ald die«l and was buried at 
Sherborne ; and his brother Ethelbert, as was right, joined 
Kent, Surrey, and vSussex, to his own kingdom. In his days, 
a large army of Pagans came up from the sea, and assaulted 
and sackeil the city of Winchester ; but as they were return- 
ing to their ships laden with plunder, Osric, the ealdorman 
of Hants, with his people, and Ethelwulf, the ealdorman, 
with the men of Berks, boldly encountered them, and, battle 
being joined, the Pagans were put to the sword in every 
direction, and, being unable to make a longer resistance, fled 
like women, and the Christians remained masters of the field 
of death. Ethel1)ert having governed his kingdom five years 
in p<:'ace, with the love and respect of his subjects, went the 
way of all flesh, to their universal sorrow, and was honourably 
inteiTcd at Sherlx>rne, where he lies bv the side of his ]>rother. 

[a.d. 861.] 

[a.d. 862.] vSt. S within was translated to heaven on 
Thursday the sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of July. 

[a.d. 863.] 

[a.d. 864-.] The Pagans wintered in the Isle of Thanet, 
and made a close alliance with the men of Kent, who i)romis<.'d 
to ])ay them tribute if they kept the compact ; but the 
Pagans, breaking the treaty, stole out of their camp by night. 

00 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 865 — 868. 

like foxes, and regardless of the promised tribute, as they 
knew thev could gain more by surreptitious robbery than by 
observin^*^ the peace, ravaged the whole eastern coast of Kent. 
[a.D. 865.] 

[a.D. 866.] Ethered, brother of king Ethelbert, succeeded 
to the kingdom of Wessex. The same year a large fleet of 
the Pagans came to Britain from Denmark, and wintered 
in the kingdom of the East-Angles, which is called in the 
8axon tongue, East Engle, and there the greatest part of 
tlieir troops procured horses. 

[a.D. 867.] The army of Pagans before mentioned, 
marched from amongst the East-Angles to the city of York, 
which stands on the north bank of the river Humber. At 
that time great dissentions had arisen among the North- 
umbrians, by the devil's instigation, as always happens to 
a people who have incurred Grod's wrath. For the !N^orth- 
umbrians had then, as we have related, driven out their 
I'ightful king, Osbriht, and raised to the throne a tyrant 
named ^lla, who was not of the royal race ; but by Divine 
Providence, and the exertions of the nobles for the common 
good, the discord was somewhat allayed on the approach of 
the Pagans, and Osbriht and -^lla, uniting their forces and 
assembling an army, marched to York. The Pagans fled at 
their approach, and attempted to defend themselves within 
the city walls. The Christians, witnessing their flight and 
alarm, pressed forward in pursuit, and set to work to break 
down the walls, which they eflected ; for that city was not 
fortified by strong walls in those times. The Christians 
having succeeded in making a breach in the w^all, and great 
numbers of them having entered the town pell-mell w^ith the 
enemy, the Pagans, driven to despair, charged them fiercely, 
and overthrew, routed, and cut them down, both within and 
without the walls. Almost all the Northumbrian troops, 
with the two kings, fell in this battle; the remainder who 
escaped made peace with the Pagans. 

In the same year died Ealhstan, who had been bishop of 
Sherborne fifty years, and was buried there. 

[a.D. 868.] A comet was very plainly \asible this year. 

Alfred, the revered ' king, who held then a subordinate 
station, demanded and obtained in marriage a Mercian lady 
of noble birth, being the daughter of Ethelred, surnamed 

A.D. 8G9, 870.] KING Alfred's marriage. GI 

!Mueil, ealdonnan of tlio Gaini. Her mother's name was 
Kadburli, of the royal race of the Mercian kings, a lady 
imich venerated, wlio for many years after her Inisband's ' 
death remained a most chaste widow to the end of her 

The same year the before mentioned army of Pagans, 
quitting Northumbria, entered Mercia, and advanced to 
Nottingham, called in the Britisli tongue, Tigguocobauc, but 
in Latin, '' The House of Caves," and they passed the winter 
there. On their approach, Burhred, king of Mercia, and all 
the nobles of that nation, sent messengers forthwith to 
Ethered, king of Wessex, and his brother Alfred, earnestly 
entreating them to render them such succour as would enable 
them to give battle to the aforesaid army. Their request was 
readily granted ; for the brothers, making no delay in fulfill- 
ing their promise, assembled a vast army from all parts, and 
entering Mercia advanced to Nottingham, unanimously 
desiring a battle. But the Pagans, sheltering themselves 
Anthin the fortifications, refused to fight, and as the Christians 
were unable to make a breach in the wall, peace was made 
between the Mercians and the Pagans, and the two brothei*s, 
Ethered and Alfred, returned home with their troops. The 
oratory of St. Andrew, the apostle, at Kemsege* was biult, and 
consecrated by Alhun, bishoj) of "Worcester. 

[a.d. 869.] The aforesaid cavalry of the Pagans, riding- 
back to Northumbria, reached York, and was quartered there 
for a whole year. 

[a.d. 870.] The before mentioned army of the Pagans 
passed through Mercia into East-Anglia, and wintered there 
at a place called Thetford. 

In the same year Edmund, the most holy and glorious king 
of the East-Angles, was mart\Tcd by king Inguar, an in- 
veterate heathen, on the twelfth of the calends of December 
[20th November], being Sunday, the second indiction, as we 
read in his Passion. In this year also Ccolnoth, archbishop 

^ All the printed editions read patris ; but one of the MS. has vlri, 
uhifh must be tbe right reading. 

- J'robably Kempsey, near Worcester. This is one of the notices, 
not found in otber clironiclos, wbicli was probably gathered by 
I'lorunce from the records of his own mouaslery, or from local in- 


of Cariterhiuy died, and was buried in peace in that city ; he 
was succeeded by that reverend man Ethered. 

[a.D. 871.] The Pagan army, of hateful memory, quitting 
East-Anglia and entering the kingdom of Wessex, came to 
the vill of Eeading, situated on the south bank of the river 
Thames in tiie district called Berksliire. And there, on the 
third day after their arrival, two of their chiefs, with great 
part of their forces, rode out to plunder the country, while 
the rest were throwing up a rampart between the rivers 
Thames and Kennet on the right of the said royal vill. They 
were encountered by Ethelwuif, eaklorman of Berkshire, and 
his men, at a place called in English, Englefeld, and in Latin, 
*' The Field of the Angles," where both sides fought bravely ; 
but after both armies had maintained their ground a long time, 
one of the Pagan chiefs being slain, and the greater part of 
their army cut to pieces, the rest saved themselves by flight, 
and the Christians gained the victory, remaining masters of 
the Held of death. Four days after these events, king 
Ethered and his brother Alfred, having assembled troops and 
united their forces, marched to Reading ; and have succeeded 
in forcing their way to the castle-gate, by slaying and over- 
throwing ail the Pagans they met with outside the fortifica- 
tions, the Pagans, nevertheless, salMed out, like wolves, from 
all the gates and fought with the utmost desperation. The 
combat was long and sharply contested on both sides ; but, sad 
to say, the Christians at last turned their backs, and the Pagans 
obtaining the victory remained masters of the field of blood. 
Ethelwuif the before named eaklorman was among the slain. 

Roused by grief and shame at this defeat, the Christians, 
four days afterwards, renewed the engagement against the 
same army, with all their forces and right good-will, at a place 
called -^scesdun, which signifies in Latin " The Mount of the 
Ash " (Ashdown). The Pagans, dividing themselves into two 
bodies, drew up in two equal columns, for they had with 
them two kings and many earls, allotting the centre of the 
army to the two kings and the rest to the earls. The 
Christians, observing tliis, arrayed their troops also in two 
di\dsion8, losing no time in forming the columns. Alfred was 
the first to lead his men promptly to the field of battle, for 
his brother, king Ethered, was then engaged at his devotions 
in his tent, hearing mass, and he positively declared that he 


would not quit it until the priest had finished the mass, and 
omit the service of God to attend to his duty to man. He 
persisted in this, and the fjiith of the Cliristian king availed 
him mucli with God, as will more fully appear in the sequel. 
Now the Clu-istians had determined that king Kthered, with 
his di\ision, should attack the two Pagan kings, but his 
brother Alfred was instructed to take the chances of war with 
his own troops against all the Pagan earls. Things having been 
thus arrayed on both sides, and the king being still engaged 
in his devotions, while the Pagans advanced rapidly under 
arms to the field of battle, Alfred, who was second in com- 
mand, finding that he could no longer sustain the enemy's 
onset, without either retreating or charging them in turn 
before his brother's arrival, at last, putting himself manfully 
at the liead of the Christian forces drawn up as before 
aiTanged, he formed a close cohmm without waiting for the 
king, and, relying on God's counsels and support, advanced 
his standards against the enemy. At length king Ethered, 
ha\'ing finished liis prayers, came up, and invoking the aid of 
the flighty lluler of the world, plunged into the fight. But 
here we must inform those who are ignorant of the locality, 
that the field of battle w^as not equally favourable to both 
armies, for the Pagans occupied the higher ground, and the 
Christians had to direct their march from a lower level. We 
may also remark that there stood on the spot a solitary thorn- 
tree of stunted growth (I have seen it with my own eyes), 
round which the hostile armies engaged in the combat with 
loud cries ; the one party to work their wicked ends, the other 
to fight for their lives, for their country, and for those who 
were dear to them. After both armies had fought bravely, 
and with great fierceness, for a considerable time, the Pagans, 
by the judgment of God, were no longer able to sustain the 
attacks of the Christians, and having lost the greatest part of 
their troops retreated with tlisgnice. One of their two kings 
and five of their earls fell on the field of battle, and many 
thousands of their army were dispersed and slain over the 
whole j)lain of Ashdown. Thus perished king Bagsecg, earl 
Sidroc the elder, and earl Sidroc the younger, earl Osbern, 
earl Fra*na, and earl Harold ; and the whole Pagan army fled 
until night, and even the next day, until they reached the 
-stronghold from which they had sallied forth. 


Fourteen days afterwards, king Ethered and his brother 
Alfred having again united their forces to give battle to the 
Pagans marched to Basing, and upon the armies meeting, 
after a long' engagement, the Pagans gained the victory. 
Again, after two months had elapsed, king Ethered with his 
brother Alfred fought against the Pagans, who were in two 
(li\isions at Merton, and for a long time they had the advan- 
tage, having routed the enemy ; but the Pagans rallied, and 
gained the victory, remaining masters of the field of death, 
after great slaughter on both sides. 

The same year, after Easter, on the ninth of the calends of 
May [23rd April], king Ethered went the way of all flesh, 
having governed his kingdom bravely, honourably, and in 
good repute for five yeai's, through much tribulation : he was 
buried at Winborne, where he waits the coming of the Lord, 
and tlie first resurrection with the just. On his death, the 
before named Alfred, who had hitherto, while his brothers were 
alive, held only a subordinate rank, at once succeeded to the 
throne of the whole kingdom, to the entire satisfaction of all 
the people. I think it convenient to insert in this place a 
brief notice of his childhood and youth. 

He was exceedingly beloved both by his father and mother, 
even more than his brothers, and not only so, but he was the 
general favourite among all ranks ; and being never separated 
from his parent-s was brought up entirely in the court of his 
father. As he advanced in years, during infancy and youth, 
he grew up more comely in form, and more graceful in aspect, 
as well as in all his words and actions, than the rest of his 
brothers ; but, alas ! through the neglect of his parents 
and nurses, he did not learn to read until he was twelve years 
old. Yet, he listened with intelligence, day and night, to the 
Saxon poems which were frequently recited to him by others, 
and committed them with facility to his docile memory. He 
was expert and successful beyond all his rivals in every branch 
of the huntsman's craft, as in all the rest of God's gifts. 
When, therefore, on some occasion, his mother w^as showing 
him and his brothers a book of Saxon poetry which she held 
in her hand, and said, " I will give this book to whichever of 
you shall first learn (to read) it," incited by this ofier, or 
rather inspired by heaven, and attracted by the beautifully- 
illuminated initial-letter of the volume, Alfred said to his 

A.D. 850 — SCO.] KING Alfred's youth. 65 

mother. '• Will you really give that book to such one of us as 
can first understand it and re])eat it to you?" She smiled at 
this, and re[>lied, " I will, indeed, give it to him." Upon this 
lie took the book from her hand, and went to his master and 
began reading it ; and when he had read it through he brought 
it l>ack to his mother and recited it to her. After this he 
learnt the daily course, consisting of certain psalms and a 
number of prayers ; these were collected in a volume, whicli 
he carried about with him in his bosom for his devotions, by 
day and by night, during all the fleeting course of this present 
life. But, sad to say, he was unable to gratify his most ardent 
wish of learning the liberal arts, as at that time there were no 
grammarians in all the kingdom of the West-Saxons. 

While he was still in the flower of youth, and sought to 
strengthen his resolutions to observe the Divine laws, but felt 
that he could not altogether rid himself of carnal desires, it 
was his custom, that he might not incur God's displeasure by 
doing anything contrary to His will, to rise very often in 
secret at cockcrow and the hour of matins, and resort to the 
churches and relics of the saints for the purpose of prayer, 
and there kneeling long he besought Abnighty God, in his 
mercy, to strengthen his determination to devote himself to 
His ser\ice by some infirmity which he might be able to bear, 
but which would not be disgraceful or inifit him for his worldly 
duties. Having often implored this with earnest devotion, he 
was a short time afterwards, God granting his prayer, aiflicted 
with piles ; and the disorder became so severe in the course of 
years, that even his life was despaired of. It happened, 
howe\er, providentially, that while hunting in Cornwall, ho 
turned aside to offer his devotion in a certain church in which 
the remains of St. Gueriir repose, and where St. Neot also lies. 
Prostrating himself for a long time in silent prayer, he entreated 
God's mercy, that in His unbounded love He would relieve 
him from the tortures of his present painful disease, and give 
him in exchange some lighter infirmity ; provided that it 
did not appear outwardly, lest he should become an object 
of contempt and unfitted for active services. Having finished 
his ])rayer ho proceeded on his road, and shortly afterwards 
found himself, by Divine aid, completely cured of his disorder, 
according to his supplications. But, alas! when he was 
relieved from that, another still more acute seized him on the 



day of his marriage, and incessantly harassed him day and 
night from his twentieth to his forty-fifth year, and more. 

He had by his before-mentioned wife, Ealswitha, the 
following sons and daguhters : — Ethelflede, his first-born child, 
then Edward, then Ethelgeovii, afterwards Elfthryth, and then 
Ethel ward. Ethelflede, when she became marriageable, was 
united to Ethered, ealdorman of Mercia ; Ethelgeovu, having 
made a vow of chastity, and becoming a nun, devoted herself 
to the service of God according to the rules of monastic life. 
Ethelward, the youngest of all, by the holy purpose and 
admirable provision of the king, vv^as placed under the care of 
diligent masters, as were also the nobles of nearly all the 
kingdom, and many of the lower order, that they might 
receive instruction in the liberal arts before they were strong 
enough for the business of the world. Edward and Elfthryth 
were brought up at their father's court, but they received 
a liberal education, and, besides their worldly exercises and 
studies, they learnt with care the Psalms and Saxon books, and 
especially Saxon poems. 

In the midst of wars and the frequent hindrances of the 
present life, the irruptions of tlie Pagans, and his daily in- 
firmities of body, Idng Alfred, single-handed, and, as well as 
his strength would allow, unremittingly devoted hunself to the 
government of his kingdom, the exercise of hunting in its 
various forms, the superintendence of his goldsmiths and other 
artificers, as well as those who had charge of his falcons, 
hawks, and hounds ; the building, by the aid of machinery 
invented by himself, of edifices more stately and costly than any 
which had been erected by his predecessors in the style of 
their age ; reading Saxon books, and especially committing to 
memory Saxon poems, and enjoining such pursuits on those 
around him. He heard mass daily, besides some psalms and 
prayers, and observed the canonical hours of devotion day and 
night ; and w^as wont to go alone by night, and frequent the 
churches, eluding the observation of his attendants, for the 
purpose of prayer. He was a bountiful almsgiver, afiable and 
agreeable to all the world, and a close enquirer into hidden 
things. Many Franks, Frisons, Gauls, Pagans, Britons, Scots, 
and Armoricans, both of the nobility and commonalty, came 
voluntarily and gave him their allegiance, all of whom he 
treated as his native subjects, ruling them, loving them, 

A.D. 871, 872.] KING ALFRED'S WARS. 67 

honouring them, and heaping j)ower and wealth upon tliem, 
according to their rank and worth. He manifested a wonder- 
ful regard for his bishops and tlie whole ecclesiastical 
order, his ealdonnen and nobles, his inferior officers and all 
who were attached to his court ; having as much aiiection for 
their sons, who were brought \i\) in the royal household, as he 
had for his own, devoting liis time, day and night, in the midst 
of his other avocations, to inculcate upon them virtuous habits 
and the pursuit of learning. 

About a month after he began his reign, with so much 
reluctance, I may say — for he felt that without Divine aid he 
should never be able to resist, single-handed, the severity of 
the Pagan irruptions, since even when his brothers were alive, 
he had suflered great losses — king Alfred, with a small and 
very inadequate force, made a fierce attack on the whole army 
of the Pagans on a hill called Wilton, on the south bank of 
the Guilou, from which river the whole country takes its 
name. ^Vhen both parties had sustained the combat in differ- 
ent positions with vigour and bravery great part of the day, 
the Pagans, perceiving that they were in imminent peril, and 
could no longer withstand the enemy's impetuosity, took to 
flight ; but, sad to relate, they took advantage of the too 
great daring of their pursuers, and fjxcing round renewed the 
fight, and, thus snatching a victory, remained masters of the 
field of death. Let no one be sur]irised that the force of the 
Christians in this engagement was so small, for the ranks of the 
Saxons had been thinned in the eight battles they had fought 
with the enemy in the course of a single year ; in which battles 
one Pagan king and eight earls were slain, with vast numbers 
of their troops, not to mention the countless attacks, by day 
and night, with which king Alfred and the several ealdormen 
of the nation with their followers, as well as many of the 
king's thanes, had incessantly harassed the Pagans. God 
only knows how many thousand of the enemy were destroyed 
in these desultory attacks, besides those who were slain in the 
eight battles already mentioned. The same year the (West) 
Saxons made peace with the Pagans, on the terms that they 
should depart their country, which condition they observed. 
On the death of Cinefertii, bishop of Litclitield, Tunberht 

[a.d. 872.] Alchun, bisho]) of the Hwiccas, having died, 

F 2 

68 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 873, 874. 

Worefrith, a man learned in the Scriptures, who had been 
brought up in the holy church of Worcester, was ordained 
bishop by Etliercd, archbishop of Canterbury, on the seventh 
of the ides [the 7th] of June, being Whitsunday. At king 
Alfred's connnand, he made the first translation of the books 
of Dialogues of pope St. Gregory, from the Latin into the 
Saxon tongue, a Avork which he executed Avith great accuracy 
and elegance. The king induced him, and also Plegmund, a 
learned and venerable man, and a native of Mercia, who, in 
course of time, was made archbishop of Canterbury, together 
with Ethelstan and Werwif, two well educated Mercian priests, 
to leave that province and come to him, and he advanced 
them to high honours and station, that they might assist him 
in his great object, the acquisition of learning. He also sent 
euAoys to France, and invited over the venerable St. Grimbald, 
priest and monk, who was an excellent chanter, thoroughly 
versed in the Holy Scriptures and ecclesiastical discipline, and 
of exemplary conduct. To him was added John, also a priest 
and monk, a man of the most acute genius, and Asser, who 
was summoned from the monastery of St. David, on the 
furthest border of Britain in the West. Under the teaching 
of all these learned men the object of the king's desire was 
so daily advanced and accomplished that in a short time he 
acquired universal knowledge. The before-mentioned army 
of Pagans went to London, and wintered there ; and the 
Mercians made peace with them. 

[a.D. 873.] The army so often mentioned evacuated Lon- 
don, and marching as far as the province of Northumbria, 
wintered there m the district of Lindsey, and the Mercians 
renewed their treaty of peace with them. 

[a.D. 874.] Quitting Lindsey, the Pagan army entered 
Mercia, and wmtered at Eepton. It also compelled, by main 
force, Burhred, king of Mercia, to abandon his kingdom, and 
crossing the sea he went to Rome in the twenty-second year 
of his reign. He did not long survive his arrival at Rome, 
and dying there he received honourable interment in the 
church of St. Mary in the Saxon School, where he waits oui- 
Lord's advent, and the first resurrection of the just. After 
his expulsion, the Pagans reduced to subjection the whole 
kingdom of Mercia. However, they placed the province, in a 
miserable state, in the keeping of a weak thane, whose name 

A.D. 875, 87G.] KING Alfred's wars. C9 

■vvas Ceol^^1llf, on condition that ho should give it up to them 
peaceably "vvhenever they required. He delivered hostages to 
them for the performance of this condition, and SAvore that he 
would in no wise act contrary to their will, but submit to 
tlieir commands on all occasions. 

[a.d. 875.] The oft-mentioned army broke up from Repton 
in two divisions. One of them went with Halfdeno into the 
country of the Northumbrians, and, wintering there near the 
river Tyne reduced the whole of Northumbria under its 
dominion, and ravaged the lands of the Picts and Strathclyde 
Britons. The other division, under Guthruy, Oskmtel, and 
Amund, three kings of the Pagans, directed their march to 
a place called Grantebrycge (Cambridge), and wintered there. 
The same vear king Alfred fou2:ht a naval battle against six 
ships of the Pagans, and took one of them, the rest sheering off. 

[a.d. 876.] The oft-mentioned army of the Pagans sallied 
forth from Cambridge in the night time, and took possession 
of a castle called Wareham ; where there was an abbey of 
nuns, between the two rivers Fraw and Terente (Frome and 
Trent), in the district called by the Saxons Thornsa^t (Dorset), 
and the site of which is very strong, except on the west side, 
which is ojien to the land. With this army king Alfred 
made a firm treaty, the condition of which was that they 
should depart from his dominions ; and they gave him as many 
hostages as he demanded without dispute, and swore on 
all the relics, on which the king most confided, after God, 
and on which they before refused to swear to any people, 
tliat they would quit his kingdom as soon as tliey could. 
Notwithstanding, false as ever, and regardless of their oath's 
and hostages and the faith they had pledged, they broke the 
treaty, and, killing all the king's horse-soldiers, stole away 
suddenly to another place, called in the Saxon tongue, 
Exanceastre, but in Latin, the city of Exe, and standing on 
tlie eastern bank of that river near the southern sea which 
flows between France and Britain. King Alfred, having 
collected troops, went in i)ursuit, but they had already got 
into tlie place before he could come up with them. How- 
ever, ho extorted from them hostages of such cpiality and in 
such nvnnl)ers as he chose, and made a firm treaty with tliem, 
which they observed faithfully for some time ; and there they 
wintered. The same year, the Pagan king Halfdene distri- 

70 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 877, 878. 

biited the territory of Northumbria between himself and his 
followers, and established colonies of his soldiers on it. RoUo 
and his band landed in Normandy on the fifteenth of the 
calends of December [17th November]. 

[a.D. 877.] The Pagan army which had been left with the 
fleet at Wareham sailed to Exeter, but before they reached that 
place, one hundred and twenty of their ships were lost in a storm. 
Autumn approaching, part of the Pagans sat down at Exeter ; 
another division went into Mercia, and gave portions of it to 
Ceohvulf, to whose keeping, as we have already said, they had 
committed the province. Some part they shared among 

[a.D. 878.] The oft-named army, abandoning Exeter, 
marched to Chippenham, a royal vill, situated in the left of 
Wiltshire, where it wintered, compelling by their irruptions 
many of the people of that district to take ship and cross the 
sea in penury and consternation ; but the greatest part of the 
inhabitants were reduced to submit to their yoke. At that 
time king Alfred, with a few of his nobles and some of his 
vassals, led a life of alarm and severe distress in the woods 
and marshes of Somersetshire ; for he had no means of sub- 
sistence but what he seized by frequent incursions, either 
by lurking about or using open violence, from the Pagans, and 
even such of the Christians as had submitted to them. 

The same year, the brother of Inguar and Halfdene having 
wintered in Demetia^ and made great havoc among the Chris- 
tians, crossed over with twenty-three ships to the coast of Devon, 
and there was slain, with twelve hundred of his followers, w^ho 
thus perished miserably in their wicked aggression before the 
stronghold of Cynuit, in which many of the king's thanes had 
shut themselves up with their families as a place of refuge. 
But the Pagans, seeing that the place was quite unprepared, 
and had no fortifications except ramparts thrown up after our 
fashion, made no attempt to eftect a breach, because it was 
impregnable from its natural position on every side except the 
east (as I have myself observed), they sat down before it, 
supposing that as there was no v^ater near the fort, those men 
would soon be compelled by hunger, thirst, and the blockade, 

^ Dyvet, the antieiit name of Pembrokeshire and the western dis- 
tricts of South Wales. 


to surrender. But it did not turn out as they expected ; for 
the Christians, divinely insi)ired, before they were reduced to 
sucli extremities, and preferring either deatli or victory, made 
a sally upon the Pagans before the dawn of day, and taking 
them by siu'prise at the first onset, cut to pieces the king and 
most of his army, a few only escaping to their ships. 

The same year, after Easter, king Alfred, with his slender 
force constructed a fortress at a place called Aethelingaeig 
(Athelney) ; and from that fort, with his Somersetshire 
vassals. kei)t up an incessant warfare with the Pagans. Again, 
in the seventh week after Easter, he rode to Egbert's stone, 
in the eastern part of the forest of Selwood, which means in 
Latin, " the Great Wood ;" and there he was met by all the 
people of Somerset, Wilts, and Hants, who had not been 
driven across the sea by fear of the Pagans. These ])eople, on 
seeing the king come to life again, as we may sny, after 
suftering such great tribulations, were filled with joy beyond 
measure, as w^ell they might, and encamj^ed there for one 
night. At dawn of day, the king mo\ed his camp from that 
spot, and came to a spot called Ecglca (Hey), where he 
encamped for the night. The following day he unfurled his 
standards, and marched to a place called Ethandun (Hedding- 
ton), wliere, at the head of his troops in close order, he fought 
a desperate battle with the Pagans, and maintaining the 
contest with spirit for a long time, at last, by God's help, he 
gamed tiie victory with gi-eat slaughter of the Pagans, pursuing 
the fugitives to their fortress ; and all that he found outside 
the fortifications, men, horses, and cattle, he seized, })utting 
the men to death. He then boldly encami)ed his army before 
the gates of the Pagan fortress, and having remained there 
fourteen days, the Pagans suffering from cold, hunger, and 
terror, and at last driven to despair, sued for peace, on the 
terms that the king should receive as many hostages as he 
pleased, naming them himself, and not giving a single one in 
return — terms of ])eace such as they had never ])efore conceded. 
The king, having heard their proposal, was touched with pity, 
and selected as many hostages as he thought proper ; and 
after they were delivered, the Pagans swore, Ijcsides, that they 
would forthwitli depart from th.(» king's territories. INIoreover, 
king Guthrum engaged to eml>race Christianity, and receive 
baj)tism at king Alfred's hands, all of which articles he and 

72 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 879 — 882. 

his men fulfilled as they had promised; for, seven weeks 
afterwards, Guthrum, the king of the Pagans, with thirty of 
his principal warriors, came to king Alfred at a place called 
Aah- (Aller), near Athehiey, and there the king receiving him 
as liis son by adoption, raised him up from the font of holy 
baptism, and gave him the name of Athelstan : the loosing of 
his crism took place on the eighth day at the royal vill called 
Wedmore. He staid with the king twelve nights after his 
baptism, the king assigning him and all his attendants spacious 
and handsome lodgings. 

[a.D. 879.] The aforesaid army of Pagans, leaving 
Chippenham, as they had promised, removed to Cirencester, 
which is situated in the southern part of the Wiccian territory, 
and there they remained one year. In the same year, a large 
army of Pagans sailed from foreign parts, and, entering the 
Thames, joined the former army ; but they wintered at 
Fulham, near the river Thames. The same year there was 
an eclipse of the sun, between nones and vespers, but nearer 
nones. ^ Dunberht, bishop of Winchester, died, and was 
succeeded by Denewlf. This man, if report may be trusted, 
was, during the early part of his life, not only illiterate but 
a swineherd. King Alfred, when yielding to the fury of his 
enemies he had taken refuge in a forest, chanced to light upon 
him as he was feeding his swine. Remarking his intelligence, 
the king caused him to be taught learning, and when he was 
sufficiently instructed made him bishop of Winchester; a 
thing that may almost be considered miraculous. 

[a.D. 880.] The oft-mentioned Pagan army, breaking up 
from Cirencester, marched into East-Anglia, and parcelling 
out tlie country began to settle in it. The same year, the 
Pagan army which had wintered at Fulham quitted the island 
of Britain, and again sailing across the sea reached the 
eastern part of France, when they remained a year, at a place 
called Grendi, that is Gand (Ghent). 

[a.D. 881.] The oft-mentioned army of Pagans penetrated 
into France, and the Franks fought against it ; and after the 
battle the Pagans supplied themselves with horses, and became 
mounted troops. 

[a.D. 882.] The aforesaid army of the Pagans dragged 

^ This eclipse occurred on the 14th March, 880. 

A.D. 883 — 885.] KING Alfred's wars. 73 

their ships up the river Mese (Meuse), far into France, and 
wintered there one year. In the same year king Alfred 
fousrlit a battle by sea against the Pagan fleet, of which he 
took two ships, having slain all who were on board ; and 
the commanders of two other ships with their crews, exhausted 
by fighting and wounds, laid down their arms, and, on bended 
knees, with humble supplications, surrendered themselves to 
the king. 

[a.d. 883.] The aforesaid army cbagged their ships up the 
river called Scaldad (Scheld) against the stream, to a convent 
of nuns called Cundath (Conde) and there remained a Avhole 
year. Asser,' bishop of Sherborne, died, and was succeeded 
by Swithelm, who carried king Alfred's alms to St. Thomas in 
India, and returned thence in safety. 

[a.d. 884.] Marinus was the hundred and seventh pope. 
For the love he bore Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, and at 
his earnest request, he graciously freed the school of the 
Saxons living at Rome from all toll and taxes. Ho also 
exchanged many gifts with the king; among those he sent 
him was a no small portion of the most holy cross, on which 
our Lord Jesus Christ hung for the salvation of man. The 
aforesaid army of Pagans entering the mouth of the river 
Summe (Sonmie), sailed up it as far as Embene (Amiens), and 
remained there for one year. 

[a.d. 885.] The aforesaid army of the Pagans was divided 
into two botlies, one of which went into East France, and the 
other coming over to Britain landed in Kent, and laid siege to 
the city called in Saxon, Hrofceastre (Rochester), which 
stands on the eastern bank of the river Medway. The Pagans 
ran up a strong fort before the city gate, but were unable to 
storm the i)lace, as the citizens made a stout resistance until 
king Alfred came to their relief with a ])owerful force. On 
the king's sudden arrival, the Pagans abandoned their fort, 
leaving behind them all the horses they had brought with 
them iVom France; and, releasing most of their ])risoners, fled 
to their shii)s. The Saxons immediately secured the captives 

' Asspr did not die till !J10 (see Saxou Chronicle) ; and he con- 
tinued liis Life of Alfred to the forty-fifth year of that prince's age, 
A.D. N!):{. Ethelward, not Swithelm, appears to have heen Asser's 
successor as bishop of Sherborne. See the list of bisliops al Ibe end 
of this work. 

74 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 885, 886. 

and horses left by the Pagans, who, compelled by stern 
necessity, returned the same summer to France. The same 
year, Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, sailed with a fleet full 
of troops from Kent to East-Anglia, for the sake of plunder ; 
and when they were off the mouth of the river Stour, they fell 
in with sixteen of the Pagans' ships ; a naval engagement ensued, 
and after desperate lighting on both sides, the Pagans were all 
slain, and the ships and all their treasure became the prize of 
the \'ictors. But while the royal fleet was retiring in triumph, 
the Pagans who lived in the eastern part of England, having 
collected ships from all quarters, met it at sea near the mouth 
of the river, and after a naval battle the Pagans gained the 

Carloman, king of the Western-Franks, came to a miserable 
end while boar-hunting, being torn by the tusk of a singularly 
savage beast which he had attacked singly. His brother 
Lev»-is, who was also a king of the Franlvs, had died three 
years before. They were both sons of Lewis, king of the 
Franks, who died in the year in which the eclipse of the sun 
abeady mentioned took place. This Lewis was the son of 
Charles, king of the Franks, whose daughter Judith, Etheh\-nlf, 
king of Wessex, had made his queen, with her fathers consent. 
In the present year, also, a vast army of the Pagans poured 
forth from Germany into old Saxony, but those Saxons, 
joining their forces with the Prisons, fought bravely against 
them twice in one year, and, by God's mercy, gained the 
victory in both battles. Moreover, in the same year, Charles, 
king of the Alemanni, succeeded to the kingdom of the 
Western-Franks, and to all the kingdoms between the Tuscan 
sea and the gulf which separates Old Saxony and Gaul; all 
the nations making voluntary submission to him, except those 
of Armorica (Brittany). This Charles (Charles-le-Gros) was 
the son of king Lewis, who was the brother of Charles (the 
Bald), king of the Franks, who was the father of the before- 
mentioned Judith ; the two brothers were sons of Lewis (Le 
Debonnaire), and Lewis was son of Charles the Great, the 
antient and ^dse, who was son of Pepin. In this year, also, 
the army of the Pagans -wdiicli had settled in East-Anglia, 
disgracefully broke the peace which they had made with king 

[a.D. 886.] The army of Pagans, so often before-mentioned, 


quitting East-France, came again into the country of the 
Western-Franks, and entering the moutli of the Seine, sailed 
up it a long way against the stream as fi\r as the city of Paris, 
wliere they wintered. They besieged that city the whole of 
tliat year, but by the merciful interposition of God, they were 
unable to break through its defences. The same year, Alfred, 
king of the Anglo-Saxons, after the biu'uing of cities and 
slaughter of the people, nobly rebuilt the city of London, and 
made it again habitable; he entrusted the custody of it to 
Ethered, earl of Mercia. To which king came all the Angles 
and Saxons who l)efore had been dispersed e\'erywhere, or 
dwelt among the Pagans without beino- bondsmen, and volun- 
tarily i)laced themselves under his dominion. 

[a.d. 887.] The above-mentioned army of the Pagans, 
leaving the city of Paris unharmed, as they found they could not 
succeed, rowed their fleet u]) the Seine against the current, a 
long way until they reached tlie mouth of the Malerne (Marne), 
where they left the Seine and entered the Marne, and after a 
long and toilsome voyage up that ri\'er, they came at last to a 
j^lace called Chezy, that is, " the Royal Yill," where they 
passed the winter of that year. In the following year they 
entered the mouth of the river Yonne, to the no small damage 
of that country ; and there they sat down for a whole year. 
In this year Charles, king of the Franks, went the way of all 
flesli ; but six weeks before his death he had been expelled 
from his kingdom by Arnulf, his brother's son. As soon as 
Charles was dead, five kings were appointed, and the kingdom 
was di\i«led out into fi^ c parts ; but the highest rank devohed 
upon Arnulf; and justly and deservedly, save only his dis- 
irraceful outrage on his uncle. The other four kings promised 
fealty and obedience to Arnulf, as was right; for none of 
them had any hereditary claims to the throne, on the father's 
side, exce]>t Arnulf only. Although, therefore, five kings 
were a|»i)ointed immediately on Charles's death, Arnulf had 
tlie emjure. The dominions were divided as follows : Arnulf 
had the country to the east of the Khine ; Rodolj)!! the interior 
of tlie kingdom ; Oda (Eudes) had the western states ; Beorngar 
(Beienger) and Witlia (Guido) had Loml)arcly and the terri- 
tories on that side of the mountains. But with such vast and 
important kingd(mis they did not remain in amity, for they 
fought two ])itched ])attles, and often ravaged each others 


territories, and each, in turn, drove the otlier out of his 

In this year, Athelelm, ealdorman of Wiltshire, carried the 
ahns of kino- Alfred and the Saxons to Eome. The same 
year, on the feast of St. Martin, bishop of Tours, Alfred, the 
often-named king of the Anglo-Saxons, by God's assistance, 
first began to translate, as well as read, books. This king, 
although seated on a throne, was pierced through by many 
sorrows ; for, as we have already said, from his twentieth to 
his forty-fifth year and more, he was in constant suffering 
from the severe attacks of an unknown disease, so that he was 
not safe for a single hour either from the pain it caused, or 
from apprehension of it. Besides this, he was perpetually 
harassed by the constant invasions of foreigners, which he had 
to resist vigorously both by land and by sea, without a 
moment's rest. What shall I say of his frequent expeditions 
against the Pagans, of his battles, of his unceasing cares in 
the government of his kingdom, in the restoration of cities 
and towns, and building others where there were none before, 
of edifices incomparably ornamented with gold and silver 
under his own superintendence, of the royal halls and chambers, 
both of stone and wood, admirably erected by his command, 
of the royal vills, constructed of stone, which he caused to be 
removed from their old site, and handsomely rebuilt in more 
fitting places ? Although he stood alone, yet God being his 
helper, he never suffered the helm of government to which he 
had once put his hand, to waver and become unsteady, though 
tossed by the waves and storms of this present life. For he 
unceasingly and most wisely used both gentle instruction, 
admonition, and command, to win over his bishops, ealdormen, 
and the better sort of his favourite thanes and officers to his 
own wishes and the public good ; and where these failed, after 
long forbearance, he had recourse to severe chastisement of the 
disobedient, holding vulgar stupidity and obstinacy in utter 
abomination. If the royal commands were not attended to, 
and in consequence of the people's sluggishness, things ordered 
were not completed, or were begun so late that in time of need 
they were of little use for want of being perfectly done — for 
instance, the castles which he ordered to be built, and which 
were not begun, or taken in hand so late that the enemy's 
forces broke in by sea and land before they were finished, then 

A.D. S^^T.] Alfred's court and charities. 77 

the oi)})onents of the voyixl ordinances repented when it was 
too late, and sorely grieved that they had inconsiderately 
neglected liis orders, and extolling the king's forethought, 
engaged with the utmost zeal in the execution of what they 
had hefore disregarded. 

Among this king's other good deeds, ho directed two 
monasteries to be built, one for monks, at a place called 
Athelney, where he collected various descriptions of monks, 
and appointed John, a priest and monk, and a native of Old 
Saxony, first abbot. He also ordered a monastery proper for 
the residence of nuns to be built near the east gate of 
Shaftesbury, of which he made his own daughter, Ethelgeovu, 
who was already a consecrated virgin, abbess ; and these twa 
monasteries he richly endowed with possessions in land and 
wealth of all kinds. INIoreover, he vowed that he would 
religiously and faithfully dedicate to God one half of all the 
money which floAved into his colters every year, being justly 
acquired ; and this vow he made his serious business to fulfil 
with a v.'illing mind. He also, by a plan divinely inspired, 
connnanded his otiicers to tlivide his yearly revenues into two 
equal parts. AVhen this was done, he ordered one of these 
parts to be distributed into three portions ; one of which he 
annually bestowed on his noble officers who were continually 
engaged by turns about his person, performing various duties. 
For the king's attendants were most judiciously divided into 
three companies, so that one should be on duty at court, night 
and day, for a month ; at the end of which, on the arrival of 
another, the first returned home, and remained there tAvo months, 
attending to their private afi'airs. At the end of the second 
month it was relieved by the arrival of the third, and returned 
home for two months. So the third company, on being 
relieved by the first, also spent two months at home. In this 
rotation the service at court was administered by turns dining 
the whole life of the king. The second portion was paid to 
the artificers, who flocked to him in vast numbers, from 
dillerent nations, or were engaged on hire, men skilled in 
every kind of construction. The third portion was cheer- 
fully dispensed with admirable judgment to the foreigners 
wh(j resorted to his court from all countries, far and near, 
whetlier they asked him for money or not. As to the 
other moiety, half of all his means derived from his yearly 


revenues, he ordered his ministers to divide it exactly into 
four equal portions, to the intent that the first portion should 
be discreetly bestowed on the poor of every nation who 
came to him ; the second, on the two monasteries lie had 
founded, and those who did God's service in them ; the third, 
on the school in which he had collected, with the utmost care, 
not only many of the sons of the nobility of his realms but 
others also of the lower order; the fourth, he distributed 
among the neighbouring monasteries throughout the whole 
of Saxony and Mercia, and even some years, by turns, among 
the churches of Britain (Wales), Cornwall, France, Brittany, 
Northumbria, and Ireland, according to his ability. Having 
put these affairs in order, he undertook, as far as his infirmity 
and means would allow, to devote earnestly to God one half 
of his services, both of mind and body, by day and by night. 
In consequence, he began to consider by what means he 
might regularly keep liis vow until his death. At length he 
shrewdly devised a useful plan, and sending for a quantity of 
wax had it weighed against pennies, and when there was wax 
in the scales of the weight of seventy-two pennies, he caused 
his chaplains to make six candles of equal size, so that each 
candle might be twelve inches in length, with the inches 
marked upon it. By this plan, therefore, six of these candles 
sufficed to burn for twenty-four hours, night and day, being 
set up before the relics of different saints, which he always 
took with him wherever he went. 

Moreover, the king made the strictest enquiiies into the 
administration of justice, as well as into all other matters ; 
reviewing with much shrewdness nearly all the judgments 
pronounced throughout the kingdom at wdiich he was not 
present himself, with a view to consider whether they were 
just or unjust. If he perceived any iniquity in these 
decisions he gently remonstrated with the judges, either 
personally, or through trusty friends, on their unrighteous 
decrees, inquiring whether they proceeded from ignorance or 
malevolence, that is, from affection, fear or ill-will to others, 
or from a greediness for lucre. In short, if the judges asserted 
that they had so given judgment because they knew no better, 
lie discreetly and gently reproved their inexperience and 
ignorance in such words as these : "I marvel much at your 
presumption in that having, by God's favour and my own, 

A.D. S88 — 891.] .vlfred's administration of justice. 79 

taken upon you an office and station belonging to vrise men, 
you liave neglected the study and practice of wisdom. Either, 
therefore, at once resign the execution of the temporal authority 
now vested in you, or apply yourself to the study of wisdom 
much more earnestly than you have hitherto done. Such are 
my commands." Filled with consternation at such language 
as this, the ealdormen and presiding officers would strive to 
devote all their power to the study of justice, just as if they 
had been most severely punished. Thus, almost all the 
ealdonnen and judges, however illiterate from their youth 
upwards, applied themselves surprisingly to the learned studies, 
preferring rather to undergo a new discipline as scholars than 
to resign their offices. If, however, any one could not make 
progress in learning, cither from his advanced age or from 
dullness of an intellect unused to such exertions, the king 
required his son, if he had any, some kinsman, or, if no one else 
was to be had, one of his Uege-men, whether a freeman or 
serf, for whom he had long before provided means of instruc- 
tion, to read to him Saxon books, by day or night, whenever 
he found leisure. The old men sighed deeply, and heartily 
grieved that they had not attended to such studies in their 
early days ; counting the young men of the present generation 
fortunate who had such excellent opportunities of instruction 
in the liberal arts ; and regretting their own unhappy lot in 
neither having studied them while young, nor being able to 
acquire them in old age, however ardently they might desire 
to do so. 

[a.d. 888.] 

[a.d. 889.] Beocca, a noble caldorman, conveyed the alms 
of king Alfred and the West-Saxons to Rome. The same 
year died Ethelswitha, queen of Burhred, king of Mercia, and 
was buried at Ticinum (Pavia). In this year, also, Ethel wold, 
the caldorman, and Ethered, archbishop of Canterbury, tlied 
in the same month. Ethered was succeeded by Plegmund, a 
man of deep erudition. 

[a.d. 890.] 

[a.d. 891.] Abl)ot Beornhelm carried the alms of king 
Alfred and the West-Saxons to Rome. Guthrum, the Idng 
of the Northmen, who, as we mentioned before, was lifted by 
Alfred from the holy font, receiving the name <>f Athelstan, 
died this year. He and his followers were settled in East- 

80 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 892 — 894. 

Lnglia, and first took possession of and colonized that province 
fter the death of St. Edmund, the martyr and king. The 


same year, the oft-mentioned Pagan army departed from the 
Seine and stationed themselves at a i)lace called Santlaudan 
(St. L6), situated between France and Brittany. The Bretons 
fought against them ; and, having put some to the sword, 
and" the rest to flight, some of whom were drowned in the 
river, remained masters of the field. 

[a.D. 892.] The aforesaid Pagan army removed from East 
to West-France; but before their fleet could join them, the 
emperor Arnulf, with the Eastern-Franks, the Old-Saxons, 
and the Bavarians, attacked the land army and routed it. 
Three Scotchmen, Dusblan, Mahbethu (Macbeth), and Malin- 
mumin (Maclinnon ?), desiring to lead a pilgrim's life for the 
Lord's sake, fled secretly from Ireland, taking with them a 
week's provisions, and embarking in a coracle made of nothing 
but two hides and a half; they reached Cornwall after an 
extraordinary voyage of seven days, without sails or tackling, 
and afterwards paid a visit to king Alfred. In the same year 
died Swifneh, the most learned doctor among the Scots. In 
this year also a star called a comet was seen about the time of 
the Rogation days. 

[a.D. 893.] The fleet and cavalry of the Pagans quitting 
East-France came to Boulogne, and crossing thence, wdth their 
horses in two hundred and fifty ships, to Kent, landed at tlie 
mouth of the river Limen (Lyme), which flows out of the 
great forest called Andred ; and having dragged their ships 
four miles from the river-mouth into this forest, they demolished 
a half-built fort which was inhabited by a few churls, and 
threw up for themselves a stronger one at a place called 
Appledore. Not long afterwards the Pagan Idng entered the 
mouth of the ri^'er Thames with eighty galleys, and built for 
himself a fortress in the royal vill called Middletun (Milton). 

[a.D. 894.] The Pagans who had settled in Northumbria 
made a lasting peace with king Alfred, which they confirmed 
by their oaths ; so also did those who dwelt in East-Anglia ; 
and, in addition, delivered six hostages ; but they broke the 
treaty, and as often as the army stationed in Kent sallied forth 
from their stronghold to plunder the country, they also either 
joined them, or pillaged whatever they could on their own 
account. When this was known, king Alfred, at the head of 


]>art of his army, and leaving part at homo, as was his wont, 
while some were stationed as garrisons in tlie eastles and cities, 
marched in all haste for Kent; where he pitched his camp 
between tlie two Pagan armies on a spot wliich was naturally- 
strong, being surrounded on all sides by water, flowing with 
strong eddies, with high rocky banks and overhanging woods ; 
so that if the enemy took the field for the purpose of j)lunder- 
ing or fighting, he could give them battle without delay. 
They, however, went about plimdering in bands, which were 
* sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, resorting for their 
prey to those districts wliieh they ascertained were not 
occupied by the king's troops. But not only some of the 
royal army, but those wlio were in tlie toAms, fell on them by 
surprise, night and day, with much slaughter, and so harassed 
them, that, abimdoning Kent after again ravaging it, they 
all in a body broke up from their quarters, for they had gone 
out together to pillage when they first sat down in these parts. 
But this time they swept off a more valuable booty, and 
resohed on crossing the river Tliames with it into Essex, 
and there meet their fleet, which they had sent forward. 
But tlie king's army getting before tjiem, gave them battle 
near Farnham, and, putting them to flight, recovered the 
booty and took the horses which they had brought from 
beyond sea. Crossing the Thames where there were no 
guards, they took refuge in an island surrounded by the 
windings of the river Colne, in w^hich they were blockaded, 
until provisions failed in the king's army, and the time came at 
which they were to be disbanded, and another come to relieve 
them. Those troops, therefore, returned home, and king 
Alfred bringing up the other half of his army in all haste, the 
Pagans, in consequence of their king being so severely 
wounded that they could not remove him, held their ground. 
While, however, king Alfred was on his march to attack the 
enemy, news was brought that the Pagans of Northumbria 
and East-Anglia had collected a fleet of two hundred ships,^ 
part of which, to the number of one hundred, had sailed round 
the south coast of England, and another division consisting of 
forty ships, had steered for the northern coast of Devonshire to 

' An error probably for 140, as we may judge from what follows ; 
and see Saxon Chronicle under the year H!)l. 



lay siege to some castle there, while the former besieged Exeter 
with a powerful force. Wlien the long heard this, he was not 
alarmed at the enemy's bold manoeu\Tes, though he was very 
indignant that his people should be at the mercy of the 
besieging armies. Collecting, therefore, all his cavalry M^th- 
out loss of time, he rode to Exeter, leaving a small force to 
oppose the enemy he was previously marching against. This 
force proceeding to London, and being joined by the citizens, 
and those who had come to their aid from the west of England, 
marched to Benfleet ; for they heard that a large detachment 
of the army stationed at Appledore had concentrated itself 
there with king Hsesten, who, advancing with his force fi'om 
Milton, had constructed a fortified camp in that position ; but 
in the meantime, they heard he had again gone on a predatory 
expedition. This king had a short time before made peace 
with king Alfred, and given several hostages, and allowed his 
two sons to be regenerated in the laver of baptism, as king 
Alfred desired; one of them being held at the font by the 
king himself, the other by the illustrious ealdorman Ethered. 
But on his arrival at Benfleet, King Ha3sten quickly fortifying 
his camp, began immediately to ravage the borders of the 
kingdom of his son's god-father. A severe battle was there- 
fore fought with the Pagans, and the Clu-istians put them to 
flight at the first onset, destroyed their works, and seizing on 
all they could find carried it off, with their wives and childi*en, 
to London. Some of their ships they broke up, others they 
burnt, and conducted the rest either to London or Eochester* 
They also took Hjfisten's wife and two sons before he returned 
to Benfleet from plundering ; and these they carried to king 
Alfred, but he did them no harm, because, as we said before, 
one of the boys was his own godson, and the other Ethered's, 
but renewing the peace, and taking hostages, not only restored 
Hsesten his wife and sons, as he requested, but gave him a 
large sum of money. 

Afterwards the king went to Exeter, at the earnest entreaty 
of his people there ; and the Pagans, terrified at his coming, 
retired to theii* ships, and then returning to their old quarters, 
began to ravage the country near Chichester, in the pro^dnce 
of the South-Saxons. But they were driven off" from the city 
by the to-wiismen, great numbers of them having been killed 
and wounded, and many of their ships were taken. Mean- 

A.D. 894, 895.] Wars vitii the d.a^'es. 83 

"vvliile, the Pacran army being expelled by the Christians from 
Beniieet, as -svc menti«)ne<l, went to a town called in .Saxon 
8eeobyrig (Shoebuiy), and there Iniilt for themselves a strong- 
fortress. !Many of the Pagans from East-Anglia and North- 
umbria having joined them, they pillaged first the banks of 
the Thames and then those of the Severn. The noble 
earhlonnen Ethered, Athehn, and Athelnoth, and others of 
the king's thanes to whom he had conunitted the custody of 
the forts, towns, and cities, not only on the eastern side of the 
Parret, but also westward of Selwood, and not only on the 
north but also on the south of the Thames, resentmg their 
fierce irruptions, assembled a consideraljle force against the 
enemy, the Welsh, who dwelt on the banks of the Severn, 
coming to their aid. These troops being united, they marched 
in [pursuit of the enemy and came up -with them at Buttington, 
on the banks of the Severn, and immediateh* laid siege to the 
fortress into which they had retired, from both sides of the river. 
After the lapse of many weeks, some of the Pagans died of 
hunger ; others, having devoured their horses, broke out of 
their fortress and attacked the enemy's diWsion stationed on 
the other side of the river ; but vast numbers of the Pagans 
were slain in this engagement, and the rest taking to flight, 
the Chr'stians remained masters of the field of death. In this 
Ixittle, Ordeah, a noble of the highest rank, and many of the 
king's thanes fell. The Pagans who fled having retreated to 
Essex and reached their fortresses and sliips, on the ap])roach 
of winter they again gathered a large army out of East-Anglia 
and Northumbria, and giving their wives, their wealth, and 
their ships, in charge to the settlers in East-Anglia, left their 
fortresses, and making a forced march, took possession of the 
city of the Legions, called m Latui Legeceaster (Chester), 
which was at that time deserted ; arriving there before the 
troops of king Alfred and Ethered the sub-king, who were ill 
pursiut, could overtake them. However, they cut ofl' and 
slow some of them, rescuing some of the cattle and sheep they 
had seized while foraging, and besieged the city for two da^ys, 
burning part of the crops of corn and giving the rest to their 
liorses. These events took place in the course of a year after 
the Paorans came from the coast of France to the mouth of the 
liver Limene. 

[a.d. 8!JJ.] The oft-mentioned Saxon armv, having no 

c; 2 

84 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 896, 897. 

means of subsistence, as the Christians had taken everything 
from them, made an irruption into the territories of the North- 
Britons, and ravaging them far and wide swept off an immense 
body. Not daring to return by way of Mercia, for fear of 
the Mercians, they went first through Northumbria and the 
country of the Mid-Angles, and having rejoined their wives 
and sliips in East-AngUa, betook themselves to a little island 
in the sea called Theresig (Mersey), on the eastern coast of 
Essex. The same year, the same party drew their ships up the 
river Thames, and afterwards up the river Lea, and began to 
build themselves a fort near that river, twenty miles from 

[a.D. 896.] In the summer time, great part of the citizens 
of London, assisted by numbers from the neighbouring places, 
endeavoured to demolish the fortress which the Pagans had 
made for themselves ; but they met with a stout resistance, 
and the Christians were compelled to draw off, after four of 
king Alfred's thanes were slain. The king himself, in the 
autumn, pitched liis camp not far from the city, in order to 
prevent the Pagans from carrying off the crops of the country 
I)eople. One day, as he rode along the river-bank, he con- 
sidered where he could obstruct the channel so as to prevent 
the Danes from getting their ships out; and without delay 
ordered a dam to be made from both sides across the bed of 
the river. The Pagans finding this, again placed their wives 
in security in East-Anglia, and abandoning their ships, made a 
forced march on foot as far as a place called Quattbrycge, and 
having built for themselves a fortress, passed the winter there. 
Meanwhile, the Londoners brought some of then* ships to 
London and broke up the rest. 

[a.D. 897.] In the summer season, part of the Pagan army 
which had wintered at Quattbrycge went into East-Anglia and 
the other parts as far as Northumbria. Some remained there, 
but others procured ships and crossed over to the river Seine 
already mentioned. Oh! with what constant attacks, with 
what grievous sufterings, in what a dreadful and lamentable 
manner, was the whole of England harassed, not only by the 
Danes, who had settled in various parts of it before that time, 
but also by these (roving) children of Satan. Much more did 
it suifer for three years by a murram among the cattle, and a 
mortality among the nobility, many of whom, the king's 

A.D. 898 — 901.] di':atii op kixg alfred. 85 

principal officers especially, died durino; tliat period. Amoncc 
these were Siitiliulf, bisliop of Ilocliester, Eullirard, bisliop of 
Uorehester, Ceolmimd, ealdorman of Kent, Bcorlittwlf, ealdor- 
man of Essex, Eadulf, the kinc^'s reeve in Sussex, Beornwulf, 
the vice-reeve of Winchester, Ecgwidf, the king's horse-thane, 
and many others ; but these were of the highest rank. In this 
same year, the army of Pagans who were settled in East- 
Anglia and Northimibria grievously harassed the territory of 
the West-Saxons, making j)iratical descents and pillaging along 
the coast, principally in long, swift ships, which they had built 
some years before. To oppose these, king Alired caused ships 
to be constructed twice as long, swifter, loftier, and better 
trimmed, so that they might be more than a match in action 
for the enemy's navy. On sending them to sea, the king's 
orders were that they sliould take as many prisoners as they 
could, and kill such of the enemy as they could not take alive. 
The result was that in the same year twenty ships of the Danish 
l^irates were taken ; and of the crews, some were slain, and 
others brought alive to the king and hung on the gallows.^ 

[a.d. 898, 899.] 

[a.d. 900.] Healhstan, bishop of London, died, and was 
succeeded by Theodred. Eardulf, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, 
to whom succeeded the pious Cuthard. 

[a.d. 901.] Alfred, king of the Anglo-Saxons, son of the 
most religious king Ethelwulf, after a reign of twenty-nine 
years and six months, died on Wednesday the fifth of the 
calends of November [28th October], in the fourth indiction.^ 
He was buried at Winchester in the New Minster, where he 
waits his being clothed with a blissful immortality, and par- 
taking the glory of the resurrection of the just. That renowned, 
warlike, and victorious king was the zealous of the 
widows and fatherless, orphans, and the poor. He was a 
perfect master of Saxon poetry, fondly loved by his own 

' At Winchester, as tho Saxon Chron, adfls. It contains a much 
more circumstantial account of these naval affairs tlian that given by 
Florence; and Henry of Huntin.^'tlon adds some further details. See 
pp. .'iOO, ;JCO, of Saxon Chron. in Autiq. Lib.; and pp. 160, IfU, of 
H. of HuntinRdon, ibid. 

' April, H71 — Ocrtober (H)l, which pives thirty instead of twenty-nine 
years for the reign of Alfred. The Saxon Chron. limits it to twenty- 
eipht years and a half, and, instead of the fifth, has the seventh of the 
calends of November, or viOth October. 


subjects, most affable and generous to all the world, endowed 
with prudence, fortitude, justice, and temperance, he was a 
model of patience under his inveterate disease, acute and 
impartial in the admmistration of justice, and vigilant and 
devout in the service of God. His son Edward, surnamed 
the Elder, who succeeded to the throne, was inferior to his 
father in learning, but surpassed hun in dignity, might, and 
grandeur. Eor, as it will be clearly shown in what follows, he 
extended the frontiers of his kingdom far beyond its limits in 
his father's reign, built many cities and towns, and raised 
others from their ruins, wrested from the power of the Danes 
all Essex, East-Anglia, Northumbria, and several districts of 
Mercia, which had been long in their hands, and after the 
death of his sister Ethelileda,^ took possession of the whole of 
Mercia and retained it in liis own hands : he also reduced 
to subjection the king of the Scots, the Cumbrians, and the 
Strathclyde and Western Britons ; and many kings and chiefs 
he defeated and slew. He had Athelstan, his first-born son 
by a vv^oman of very noble birth, named Egwina ; ^ liis 
queen Edgiva also bore him three sons, Edwin, Edmund, and 
Edred, a daughter named Edberga, a most devout virgin, and 
three other daughters. One of these was married to Otho, 
emperor of the Romans, the eighty-ninth in succession ; 
another to Charles, king of the Western-Franks, whose 
aunt, the daughter of the emperor Charles, was the wife of 
Ethelwulf, king of Wessex; Sihtric, king of Northumbria, 
married the third daughter. The etheling Ethelwold, cousin- 
german of king Edward, seized a royal vill called Tweoxebeam, 
"Without the licence of the king or his " witan ; '* he also 
took another called Winburne, and strengthened it •with gates 
and bolts. It was there that, as we have mentioned before, 
St. Cuthburg, sister of king Ina, founded a monastery of nuns. 
On hearing of this outrage, king Edward assembled an army, 
and encamped at a place near Winburne, called Baddanbyrig 
(Badbury). The king lost no time in summoning the 

^ JEgelJieda ; proper names commencing with " iEthel," are gene- 
rally v/ritten "^Egel" in the text of Florence of Worcester, a corrup- 
tion to be found also in the Saxon Chronicle. 

" Malmesbury describes her as of humble birth, " opilionis filia," 
a shepherd's danghter: Antiq. Lib., p. 139, where a romantic account 
is given of Athelstan's birth. 

A.D. 002 — 00.5.] EDWARD THE ELDER. 87 

etholing to evacuate the place ; but he refused, saying that he 
would live or die there. But these were idle words, for, 
terrified at the number of the king's anny, he made his 
escape by night, and hastening into Northumbria entreatcxl 
the Danes to accept him as a comrade, allowing him to join 
their eom]>any as such, and not as a commander. However, 
they shortly afterwards raised him to the throne. King Athel- 
stan was severely mortified at Etliehvold's escape, and com- 
manded instant pui'suit to be made, but finding it impossible 
to overtake him, he arrested the nun whom the etheling 
had married without his permission and that of the bishops, 
and caused her to be taken back to her convent at Winburne. 

[a.d. 902.] 

[a.d. 903.] Athulf, a very brave ealdorman, the brother of 
queen Elswitha, king Edward's mother, died this year ; as 
also Yirgilius, a venerable Scotch abbot ; likewise Grimbald, 
the priest, a man of great sanctity and one of Idng Alfred's 
masters, ascended to the bliss of the heavenly kingdom. 

[a.d. 90-1.] The Kentish men fought against a numerous 
band of Danish pirates at a ]ilace called Hohne, and remained 
victors. The etheling Ethelwold returned to England from 
foreign parts, with a large fleet of ships which he had either 
bought or collected in East-Antrha. 

[a.d. 905.] There was an eclipse of the moon. The 
etheling Ethelwold ])rcvailed on the Danes who inhabited East- 
Anglia, by the promise of a large share of the booty, to join 
in a predatory irruption on the borders of Mercia. On their 
consenting, they quickly burst into the Mercian territory under 
their king Eric, in union witli Ethelwold, and, eager for 
])kmder, carried fire and sword through the country, penetratiiig 
as far as Creccanibrd (Cricklade), where they crossed the river 
Thames, and travei'sing the wood called in the Saxon tongue 
Bradene, seized the surrounding vills, plundering ever^tliing 
they could lay their hands on. Being now loaded with rich 
booty, they hurried homeward in triumph ; but in viun, for the 
invincible king Edward piu-sued tliem with such troops as he 
could get together in lia^jte, and laid waste their lands situate be- 
tween rlie boundary territory of St. Edminid the king, and the 
river ()u>e. When about to draw ofi' his army from the work 
of devastation, he ordered the whole to retire in a body ; but 
the Kentish men remained behind in spite of the order. The 

88 FL.ORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 906 — 910. 

king sent (no less than) seven messages to them, commanding 
them to retreat ; but they, having no aj^prehension of an attack, 
persisted in their enterprise in blind security. The Danes, 
learning this, quickly assembled in a body and fell on the 
Kentish men ; and a severe battle ensued, in which numbers 
perished on both sides. On that of the Kentish men were 
slain Siwulf, the ealdorman, and his son Seberht, Sigelm, the 
eiildorman, Edwold, the king's thane, abbot Kenulf, and many 
others. On the side of the Danes were slain Eric their king, 
the etheling Ethelwold, who had been elected king, and very 
many more ^ than fell on the side of the English ; but they 
remained masters of the field of death. The devout handmaid of 
Christ, queen Elswitha, king Edward's mother, and the found- 
ress of a monastery for nuns at Winchester, departed this life.'- 

[a.d. 906.] A comet-star was seen. The Pagan army 
out of East-Anglia and Northumbria, finding that king Edward 
was invincible, made peace with him at a place called in the 
English tongue Yttingaford. ^ 

[a.D. 907.] 

[a.d. 908.] The city called in the British tongue Karle- 
gion, and in the Saxon, Legeceastre (Chester), was rebuilt by 
order of Ethered, the ealdorman, and Ethelfleda. 

[a.d. 909.] Denulf, bishop of Winchester, died. 

[a.d. 910.] St. Erithestan succeeded to the bishopric 
vacant by the death of Denulf. The bones of St. Oswald, 
king and martyr, were translated from Bardney to Mercia. 
The Danes having broken the peace recently concluded, the 
invincible king Edward sent an army of West-Saxons and 
Mercians into Northumbria, which having accomplished its 
march, laid waste the country for nearly forty days without 
intermission, put numbers of the Danes to the sword, and 
brought back a crowd of captives and immense booty, com- 

^ The Saxon Chronicle enumerates among these Ysop the hold, and 
Oskytel the hold. In our notes on Henry of Huntingdon, who calls 
them djces, we remarked that " hold " was probably a Danish title of 
rank ; but it escaped our notice that the word, as suggested by Dr. 
Thorpe in a note to the E. H. Society's edition of Florence is probably 
derived from the Scandinavian ; hollar, a ndaller, or holder of land 
on a free and privileged tenure still existing in Norway. 

- The Saxon Chron. gives her death in 902. 

^ Supposed to be either Ifford, near Christchurch, or Ickford in 

A.D. oil 913.] Tin: WAR IX MERCIA. 89 

pelliiiir their kings, however reluctantly, to renew with king 
Edward the peace they had broken. 

[a.d. 1)11.] A glorious battle was fought between the 
English and Danes at a place called Teotanhele/ in the province 
of Stafibrd, the English gaining the victory. The same year 
the victorious king Edward collected a hundred ships, and 
embarking in them chosen troops, gave them orders to meet 
him in Kent, whither he intended to go by land. Meanwhile, 
the Danish settlers in Northumbria again breaking the peace 
they had made, and rejecting the terms of accommodation 
which king Edward and his witan proposed, audaciously 
ravaged the lands of the Mercians, thinking, indeed, that their 
naval power wns so su])<Tior that they could go where they 
pleased without encountering an enemy. The king being 
informed of this irruption, sent the West-Saxon troops united 
with those of Mercia to drive them out, who overtook them 
as they were returning from the country they had ravaged, on 
a i)lain called in English Wodnesfield, and slew their two 
kings Eowils and Halfdene, king Hinguar's brothers, with two 
of their earls, Ochter and Scurf, nine of their ])rincipal nobles," 
and many thousand men besides ; and putting the rest to 
flight, recovered all the spoil. Ethelfleda, the lady of the 
Mercians, built the town of Bramsbury. 

[a.d. 912.] Ethered, ealdorman and " patrician," lord and 
sub-king of the Mercians, a man of distinguished excellence, 
and not deficient in deeds of worth, died this year ; after 
his decease his wife Ethelfleda, king Alfred's daughter,^ ruled 
with firmness the kingdom of Mercia, save only London and Ox- 
ford, which her cousin king Edward retained in his own hands. 

[a.d. 913.] Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, came with an 
anny on the second of the nones [the 6th] of May to a ])lace 
called Sconrgate, and built a fortress there ; marching from 
thence she built another at a place called Bricge (Bridgnorth), 

^ Tettenhall, near Wolverhampton. 

- Amon{^ these, the Sax. Chron. enumerates Othulf the holdy 
Nenering the hold, Anlaf COIaf) thelilack.Tliurforth the hold, Osferth 
Flytte, EiUhferth the hold, and Ogmund the hold. See the note in the 
preceding page. 

•' See Henry of Huntingdon's History, and the notes, pp. 160, 1(57, 
1C8, in Tiohn's Autiq. Lib., respecting this spirited princess, to whoso 
memory Ilorcnce of Worcester also has done more justice than most 
of the Chroniclers. 

90 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 914, 915. 

on the western bank of the river Thames. About the feast of 
St. Martin [11th November], a city was built by order of 
king Edward, between the Memera, Ficcea and Lyge (Lea), to 
the nortli of Hertford. 

[a.D. 911.] After Easter [17th April] a Pagan army from 
Nortliampton and Leicester came plundering into the province 
of Oxford and slew great numbers of people in the royal \ill 
•of Hockernetune (Hockerton), and many other vills. Shortly 
after they retm'ned home another expediton was equippecl, 
consisting of horsemen, and dispatched in the province of 
Hertford, towards Ligetun (Leighton ?) ; but the people of the 
-country flocked together to oppose them, and slaying many of 
them and putting the rest to flight, took some of their horses 
and most of their arms, recovering also the booty they had 
collected. After Kogation days [23rd May], king Edward 
detached part of his troops to build a town on the south side 
of the river Lea, and, marching the rest into Essex, pitched his 
camp at Maldienne (Maldon?). He took up liis quarters there 
while a town was building at Witham, which was afterwards 
fortified; and a great portion of the inhabitants who were 
enthralled by the Pagans submitted themselves to liim, Avith 
all they possessed. In the early part of the summer, Ethel- 
fleda, the lady of the Mercians, led her people to Tamworth, 
and by Grod's help rebuilt that town ; from thence she went 
to Stafford, and built or threw up a fort on the north bank of 
the river Sowe. The following winter was exceedingly long 
and severe. Athelm, bishop of WeUs, being promoted to the 
archbishopric of Canterbury, was succeeded by Wulfhelm. 

[a.D. 915.] On the death of Wereferth, bishop of the 
Hwiccas, a man of deep learning and piety, he was succeeded 
by Ethelhun, abbot of Berkeley.^ In the beginning of 
summer, Ethelfleda, lady of the Mercians, built the town called 
Eddesbury, and at the close of autumn another called War- 
wick. The Pagan pirates, who nearly nineteen years before 
had crossed over to France, returned to England from the 
province called Lydwiccum (Brittany), under two chiefs, 
Ochter and Hroald (Thorold?), and sailing round the coast of 

^ Florence of Worcester is naturally attentive to the succession of 
the bishops of the Hwiccias, but in the list given at the end of his 
work, the immediate successor of Wereferth is Wilferth, and then 

A.D. 1)15.] WAR IN THE WEST. 01 

Wessex and Cornwall at length entereil the mouth of the 
river Severn. Without any loss of time they fell upon the 
countiy of the Xorthern Britons, and carried off almost every 
thing they could find on the l>anks of the river. Having laid 
hands on Cymelgeac, a British bishoj), on a plain called 
Yrcenofeld, they dragged him, with no little joy, to their 
ships. King Edward redeemed liim shortly afterwards for 
forty pounds of silver. Before long, the whole army landed, 
and made for the plain before mentioned, in search of plunder ; 
but the men of Hereford and Gloucester, with numerous 
bands from the neighbouring to's^^ls, suddenly fell on them, 
and a battle was fought in which Hroald, one of the enemy's 
chiefs, and the brother of Ochter, the other chief, and great 
part of tlie army wore slain. The rest fled, and were (biven 
by the Christians into an enclosure, where they were beset 
until they delivered hostages for their departure as quickly as 
possible from king Edward's dominions. The Idng, therefore, 
stationed detachments of his army in suitable positions on the 
south side of the Severn, from Cornwall to the mouth of the 
river Avon, to prevent the pirates from ravaging those districts. 
But leaving their ships on the shore, they prowled by night about 
the country, ])lundering it to the eastward of Weced (Watchet), 
and another time at a place called Porlock. However, on 
both occasions, the king's troops slew all of them except such 
as made a disgraceful retreat to their ships. The latter, dis- 
pirited by their defeat, took refuge in an island called Beoric,' 
where they harboured till many of them perished from hunger, 
and, driven by necessity, the survivors sailed first to Deemed,' 
and afterward in the autumn to Ireland. After these occur- 
rences, the invincible king Edward marched liis army to 
Buckingham, where he halted thirty days, causing forts to be 
built on both banks of the river Ouse ; and, in consequence, 
Turketil, one of the Danish chiefs, and all of the better sort 
from Bedford and many from Northampton were compelled 
to submit to the king.^ On the death of Cuthard, bishop of 
Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Tilred. 

' The Flat-Hohns in the Bristol Channel, 

- Deraetia, Dyvet ; the district of South Wales, about Milford Haven, 
from whence is the nearest passage to the south of Ireland. 

^ Saxon Chronicle, where these transactions of the year 915 are 
assigned to !^18. 

92 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 916, 918. 

[a.d. 910.] The victorious king Edward went to Bedford 
before the feast of St. IMartin [11th JSTovember], which place 
and its inhabitants submitted to him. He remained there 
thirty days, and caused a town to be built on the south side 
of the river Oiise. After Christmas, Ethelfleda, lady of the 
Mercians, built two towns, Cyricbirig (Cherbury), and Wead- 
byrig; she also built a third, Runcofan (Runcorn), before 
that feast. 

[a.d. 917.] The victorious king Edward went as far as 
Maldon before the feast of the Nati\*ity of St. John the Baptist, 
and rebuilt the to>\Ti, placing a guard of soldiers in it before 
he left it. The same year Turketil, the chief already men- 
tioned, went over to France with all his band, king Edward 
approWng and furthering the expedition. The venerable 
abbot Egbert was unjustly slain on the sixth of the calends of 
July. Three nights afterwards Ethelfleda, the lady of the 
Mercians, sent an army into the territory of the Britons to 
take the castle at Brv'cenanmere (Brecknock) ; and having 
stormed it, they carried the wife of the British king captive 
to Mercia, and thirty-four men with her. Rollo, the first 
duke of Nonnandy died, and was succeeded by his son 

[a.d. 918.] By king Edward's command, the city called 
Towcester was built before Easter, and another after Easter, 
about the Rogations at Wigmore. After the feast of the 
Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the Pagans of Northampton 
and Leicester, in violation of the peace, marched to Towcester, 
and assaulted it during a whole day, endeavouring to storm 
it ; but the defenders of the place making a stout resistance 
from within, and their neighbours hastening to their relief, the 
Pagans all took to flight. Thev afterwards made night attacks 
in the province of Buckingham on those who were oft* their 
guard, carrying away men as well as cattle, and butchered many 
of the inhabitants between Birnwood and Aylesbur>\ At the 
same time, the army of the Pagans who had colonised East- 
Anglia and Huntingdon abandoned their fortress at Hunting- 
don, and built themselves one which was stronger at a place 
called Wigingamere ; thinking, forsooth, that hostilities from 
that quarter would enable them to recover the lands which 
had been \\Tested from them. They then issued forth to 
assault Bedford; but as soon as theu* approach was ascer- 


tiiinetl, tliose who liad tlie guard of the town wont out to 
i-'ngage them, and, battle being joineil, the enemy were defeated 
and put to flight with great loss. After a short interval the 
Pagans again assembled in a body from East-Anglia, Essex, 
and Mereia, and marched to a town called Wigingamere,* 
which they assaulted for a whole <lay ; and those within 
defended it manfully, and the enemy drew off; and as they 
retreated swept off a vast booty. After this, in the same 
summer, the people assembled in great numbers from the 
nearest towns and districts under king Edward's dominion, 
iind laid siege to Tempsford — assaulted, stormed, burnt, and 
destroyed it, putting to the sword the king of the Pagans, 
with tlieir general Toglear and his son, earl Mannan, and his 
brother, and all who made any defence ; the rest they took 
prisoners, and carried oti' all they coidd find. 

From that time the j)ower of the Danes gradually de- 
creased, while that of the English was daily augmented. Upon 
the calends [the 1st] of August, Ethelfleda, lady of the 
Mercians, took Derby by assault, and became mistress of 
that district ; but four of her most trusty thanes were slain, 
bravely fighting, at the city gate. In the following autumn, 
a great multitude of people from Kent, Surrey, Essex, aiid 
the neighbouring towns and districts, assembled together, and 
marched in a body to Colchester, and laying siege to the 
place sat down before it until they took it. They slew all who 
were in it, except a few who escapetl, and plundered all it 
contained. The Danes of East-Anglia, much incensed at 
this loss, were bent on revenge, and, joined by some pirates, 
whom they had taken into their pay, hastened to Maldon, 
wliich they besieged until the people of the neighbourhood 
came to the relief of the English ; upon Avhich the Danes 
gave up the siege and drew ofi'. The English, seemg this, 
})ursued them with great impetuosity, slew many thousands of 
the pirates and the otliers, and routed the rest. Shortly 
afterwards, the invincible king Edward put himself at the 
head of an expedition from Wessex to Passanham, and re- 
mained there while Towcester was being fortified by a wall of 
stone built round it. In consccpience, the Danish earl Tliur- 

^ Supposed to be Waymere Castle, on a small island near Bishop's 

FLORE>-CE OF WOUCEfSTER. [a.D. 918, 919. 

fiaiini: that he could no longer resist the king's -s-igour, 
to Edwiu'd, •vrith the citizens of Northampton and 
ihe people oi Aat n^ghbourhood, both Danish and English. 
After this the king returned home and despatched another 
army to Huntingdon, with orders to repair and rebuild the 
phice and leave a garrison in it. This being accomplished, 
all the people of that proA-ince who had sin^-ived the cruelties 
of the Danes, rejoicing to shake off their yoke, sought peace 
and protection from the king, and offered him their allegiance. 
After a few days' interval, the king assembled the army of 
Wessex, and marching to Colchester, repaired the walls of the 
town, and stationed in it a garrison of liired soldiers. Mean- 
while, many of the English in East-Anglia and Essex, who 
had been enslaved to the brutal Danes more than thuty years, 
jo^-fully submitted to king Edward; and even the Danish 
colonists of East-Anglia came to liim and swore that they 
would in future do nothing to his prejudice, either by sea or 
land. The army from Cambridge also came and chose him 
for itteiir lord and patron; conffrming th^ submission by 
oaths as he required. 

[a.d. 919.] In the beginning of this year, EtheWeda, lady 
of the Mercians, got possession of Leicester, peaceably, and 
nearly all the Danes belonging to the place submitted to her. 
The Danes also who predominated at York, engaged, some on 
tbi^ word, and others on oath, to submit to her will and 
pleasure in all things. After Rogations [31st May], the 
victorious king Edward the Elder led his army to Stamford, 
and built a strong castle on the south bank of the river 
Welland, and not only the Danes who held the fort on the 
north bank of that river, but all who were connected with the 
jilaoe, paid him homage. While the king was thus emj^loyed, 
tkat is to say, on the nineteenth of the calends of July, his 
sister, Ethelileda, lady of the Mercians, a woman of incom- 
parable prudence, and eminent for her just and \irtuous life, 
died,^ eight years after the sole government of the Mercians 
fell to her, during wlach she had ruled them with ftrmness and 
equity. She left Elfwina, her only daughter by Ethered the 

^ Henrv of Huntingdon states that Ethelfleda died at Tamwortb 
twelve dajs before the feast of St. Jolin [r2th June], a.d. 918, agree- 
ing with two MSS. of the Saxon Chron. ; another MS. assigning the 
year 922 as the date. See p. 168 in Antiq. Lib. 

96 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D, 924 — 931. 

[a.d. 924.] Edward the Elder, the invincible king of 
England, who reigned gloriously over all the people of Britain, 
whether English, Scotch, Cumbrians, Danes, or Welsh, after 
many great achievements, departed this life at the royal vill 
called Eearndun (Farringdon), in the fifteenth indiction, and 
the twenty-fourth of liis reign, leaving the government to his 
son Athelstan. His body was carried to Winchester, and 
interred in the New Minster with royal pomp. His son 
Alfward died shortly afterwards at Oxford, and was buried 
with his father. Athelstan's accession was inaugurated at 
Cingestone, which signifies the King's town ; and he was 
crowned with due ceremony by Athelm, archbishop of Can- 
terbury. The resolute Dunstan, a native of Wessex, was a 
boy in his time. 

[a.d. 925.] The valiant and glorious king Athelstan gave 
his sister in marriage, with great pomp and magnificence, to 
Sihtric, king of the Northumbrians, who was of Danish origin. 

[a.d. 926.] Fiery lights in the northern part of the heavens 
were visible throughout the whole of England. Shortly after- 
ward, Sihtric, king of Northumbria, departed this life, and 
king Athelstan expelled Gruthferth his son and successor, and 
united the kingdom to the others w^hich were under his 
imperial sway, for he defeated in battle and put to flight all 
the kings throughout Albion; for instance, Howel, king of the 
West Britons (the Welsh), and afterwards Constantino, king 
of the Scots, and Wuer (Owen) king of the Wenti (q. Gwent). 
He also expelled Aldred, the son of Eadulf, from his royal 
town called by the English Bebbanbyrig (Bamborough). All 
these, finding that they could no longer resist his power, sued 
for peace, and assembling at a place called Eamot, on the 
fourth of the ides [the 12th] of July, ratified by their oaths 
a solemn treaty. 

[a.d. 927.] 

[a.d. 928.] Tilred, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and was 
succeeded by Withred. On the death of Tunberht, bishop 
of Lichfield, ^lle succeeded. 

[a.d. 929.] Wilferth, bishop of the Hwiccias, died, and 
was succeeded by Kinewold. 

[a.d. 930.] 

[a.d. 931.] Eadulf, bishop of Devon, died, and was buried 
at Crediton. 

A.D. 932—938.] ATIIELSTAX. 97 

[a. I). 932.] Frithestan, bishop of Winclioster, a man of 
cniiiient piety, continued to reside at Wincliester at'tor the 
pious Byni-stan was bishop in liis stead. St. Frithestan sang 
mass daily for the repose of the souls of the departed, and at 
niirht went round the cemeteries, chanting psalms for their 
relief. On one occasion, when he was thus employed, and 
liad concluded the service with the words, " May they rest 
in peace ! " he heard, as it were, countless hosts uttering from 
the graves the response, " Amen." 

[a.d. 933.] St. Frithestan died. 

[a.d. 93-i.] Athelstan, the valiant king of England led 
an expedition into Scotland, consisting of a powerful fleet 
and a large body of cavalry, Constantine, king of the Scots, 
liaving broken the peace that he had made. King Athelstan 
ravaged great part of the country, and Constantine was 
compelled to give him his son as an hostage, witli fitting- 
presents ; and peace having been restored, the English king 
returned to Wessex. St. Byrnstan, bishop of Winchester, 
<lied the same year. 

[a.d. 93c).] The holy monk Elphege, surnamed The Bald, 
a kinsman of St. Dunstan, was appointed to the bishopric of 

[a.d. 936.] 

[a.d. 937.] Otho, the nineteenth emperor of the Romans, 
reigned thirty-six years and ten months. Athelstan, king of 
England, gave him one of his sisters in marriage. 

[a.d. 938.] Anlaf [Olaf], the Pagan king of Ireland 
and many other isles, at the instigation of his lather-in-law 
Constantine, Icing of the Scots, entered the mouth of the 
Humber with a powerful fleet. King Athelstan, and his 
brother Edmund the etheling, encountered him at the head of 
tlieir army at a ])lace called Brunanburgh, and the battle, in 
which five tributary kings and seven earls were slain, having 
lasted from daybreak until evening, and been more sanguinary 
than any that was ever fought before in England, the con- 
(juenjrs retired in triumph, having driven the kings Anlaf 
and Constantine to their ships ; who, o\er\vhelmed with 
sorrow at the destruction of their army, returned to their 
own countries with very few followers. 

' See the Saxon Chronicle, and Plenry of Huntingdon's History, for 
details of this celebrated battle. 


98 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 939 — 944. 

[a.d. 939.] 

[a.D. 940.] Athelstan, the brave and glorious Idiig of 
England, departed this life at Gloucester, on Wednesday 
the sixth of the calends of November [27th October], in the 
fourteenth indiction and the sixteenth year of his reign. He 
was carried to Maidulph (Malmesbury), and buried there with 
STeat honours ; his brother Edmund succeeded to the throne 
in the eighteenth year of his age. 

[a.d. 941.] The Northumbrians, faithless to the allegiance 
they owed to Edmund, the great king of England, elected 
Olaf, a king of the Northmen, to be their own king. The 
same year Alfred, bishop of Sherborne, died. 

[a.d. 942.] Edmund, the great king of England, wrested 
the " Five Burghs," ^ namely, Lincoln, Nottingham, Derby, 
Leicester, and Stamford, out of the hands of the Danes, and 
brouo-ht the whole of Mercia under his dominion. He estab- 
lished his supremacy and acquired this glory by calling to his 
counsels Dunstan, the servant of God, who, besides other 
offices of dio-nitv to which he was advanced, was abbot of 
Glastonbury, where he had been brought up. William, duke 
of Normandy, the son of Eollo, was slain on the sixteenth of 
the calends of January [17th October] : he was succeeded by 
his son Richard. 

[a.d. 943.] At the moment when St. Elfgiva, the queen of 
king Edmund the Great, was giving birth to a son, St. Dunstan, 
the abbot, heard voices on high, singing thus : *^ Peace shall 
be to the English church in the time of the child who is now 
born and of our Qva\ Dunstan." This year the king of 
England received king Olaf, already mentioned, from the 
sacred laver of regeneration, and made him a royal gift ; and 
soon afterwards he presented Regnald, king of Northumbria, 
to the bishop in the office of confirmation, adopting him for 
his son. 

[a.d. 944.] Edmund, the great king of England, expelled 
the tw^o kings of Northumbria — namely, Olaf, son of Sihtric, 
and Regnald, son of Guthferth, and took that kingdom into 

^ Quinque civitates. These " five burghs," as they were called, were 
strongly fortified, distinguished for their importance, commerce, and 
wealth ; and formed, as it were, a little separate Danish state in the 
heart of England, from the time of king Alfred. See Warsaae's 
Danes in Enyland, p. 31. 

A.D. 945 — 951.] EDMUND — EDRED. 99 

liis own haud.i. Withred, bishop of Lindisfarne, died, and 
was succeeded by Uhtric ; on whose decease Sexhehii was 
ordained to supply his place; and he too dying a few months 
afterwards, Ahlred was consecrated in his stead. 

[a.d. 94-5.] Edmund, the Ofreat king of England, laid waste 
Cumberland, and gave it to Malcolm, king of the Scots, under 
fealty and military service, by sea and land. 

[a.d. 940.] On tiio feast of St. Augustine, the doctor of 
the EngHsh, being Tuesday, the seventh of the calends of 
June [2Gth jSIay], in the fourth indiction, Edmund, the great 
king of England, was stabbed to death at the royal vill called 
Pucklechurch, by Leof, a rufHanly thief, while attemptmg to 
defend his steward from being murdered by the rol)ber. The 
king thus perished after a reign of five years and seven months : 
his body was carried to Glastonbury and buried by St. Dunstan 
the al)V)ot. Edred, his brother and next heir, immediately suc- 
ceeded him in due course, and was crowned at Kingston by 
St. Odo, archl)ishop of Canterbury, on Sunday the seventeenth 
of the calends of September [16th August]. King Edred 
reduced the entire kingdom of Northumbria to allegiance, as 
his brotlier had done before, and the Scots swore fealtv to him. 

[a.d. 947, 948.] 

[a.d. 949.] St. Wulfstan, archbishop of York, and all the 
great men of Northumbria, swore fealty to EtUed, the illus- 
trious king of England, at the vill called Taddens-clyft* 
(Tadcaster), but they soon broke it, and made one Eric, of 
Danish extraction, their king. 

[a.d. 950.] On the revolt of the Northumbrians, Edred, 
king of England, laid waste the whole of Northumbria ; and, 
in the course of tliis devastation, the monastery of Ripon, 
founded by St. Wilfrid, was burnt to the ground. While, 
however, the king was retiring, a body of troops sallied forth 
from York and made great ha\oc on the rear of his army, at 
a place called Chesterford. The king was so nettled at this 
afl'ront, that he was on the point of counter-marching 
his force and utterly devastating the whole country, Avhen 
the Northumbrians, alarmed at the news, deposed Eric whom 
they had elected king, satisfyhig the king's honour by Inunble 
submission, and compensating his losses l)y their offerings, it 
costing them a large sum of money to a])pease his anger. 

[a.d. 951.] St. Elpiiegc, bishoj) of Winchester, suruamed 

II 2 

100 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 952 — 956. 

tlio Bald, who had received St. Dunstan's profession as a monk, 
and raised hiui to the order of priesthood, departed this life, 
and was succeeded in the bishopric by Alfsin. 

[a.D. 952.] Edred, the renowned king of England, closely 
imprisoned Wulfstan, archbishop of York, at Juthanbyrig, on 
certain charges frequently preferred against him. He also 
ordered several of the inhabitants of Thetford to be executed, 
as a punishment for their cruel murder of abbot Aldelm. 

[a.D. 953.] Ethelgar, bishop of Crediton, departed in 
Christ in the twenty-first year after he was appointed to the 
see, and w\as buried at Crediton. By the advice of St. Dun- 
stan, the abbot, the venerable Alfwold was made bishop in 
his place. 

[a.D. 954.] Wulfstan, archbishop of York, was released 
from prison, but his episcopal functions were transferred to 

[a.D. 955.] Edred, the illustrious king of England, fell 
sick in the tenth year of his reign, so that his life was despaired 
of ; upon which a messenger w^as dispatched with urgent speed 
to summon Dunstan, the king's confessor. The holy abbot 
was hastening to the palace, and had accomplished half his 
journey when he heard these words distinctly uttered by a 
voice from above, " King Edred now rests in peace." At this 
sound, the horse on which he was riding, struck with awe at 
the angel's voice, fell to the earth lifeless, but St. Dunstan 
received no injury. The king's corpse was carried to Win- 
chester, and interred by abbot Dunstan himself in the New 
Minster with the highest honours. Edwy, the etheling, his 
nephew, as being son of king Edward by St. Elfgiva, his 
queen, succeeded him in his sole and imperial government, 
and was crowned the same year at Kingston by Odo, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury. The same year died Lewis, king of 
the Western Franks, son of king Charles by a daughter of 
Edward the Elder, king of England. Liutolf also, son of the 
emperor Otho by another daughter of the same Idng Edward, 
died this year, and was buried in the choir of the Abbey of 
St. Alban, at Mentz. 

[a.D. 956.] St^^- DTin3t^ll,~1:iTe-».aiM)ot, on his being cited 
to judgment >lf.B:d^fc§j..^nf^Q^^^ crossed the sea, 

and being hoi^'fli'idbly receivednby.fenHlf, a man of royal 
descent, ha(| lod^ing^SsslglOKlp.dtiiii ihiki^ abbey of Blandin 


A.D. 957 9u0.] EDWY AND EDGAR. 101 

(St. Peter's, at Ghent). Wulfstan, arelibiftliop of York, died 
on the seventh of tlie calends of January [2Gth Dec.], and 
was buried at Oundle. Oskytel, a reverend man, succeeded 

[a.d. 957.] The people of Mercia and Nortlnmibria threw 
oft' their allegiance to Edwy king of England, disgusted at 
the folly of liis government, and elected his cousin, the 
etheling Edorar, kino-. So the kinc:dom was divided between 
the two kings in such manner that the river Thames formed 
the boundary of their respective dominions. It was not long 
before Edgar, king of Mercia, recalled St. Dunstan, the 
abbot, with honour and distinction. In the course of a short 
time afterwards, Coenwald, the pastor of the church of 
Worcester, a man of deep humility and also a monk, died, 
and St. Dunstan, the abbot, was promoted to the vacant 
bishopric, and consecrated by Odo, archbishop of Canterbury. 
In the year following, Edgar king of Mercia entrusted him 
with the government of the church of London, on the death 
of its pious pastor. 

[a.d. 958.] Alfsi, bishop of Dorchester, died: he was 
succeeded l^y Byrhthelm, a mild, modest, luuuble, and benevo- 
lent man. iS< Odo, archbishop of Canterbury, separated 
Edwy king of Wessex and Elgiva, either because, as report 
says, she was of near kin to him, or he was enamoured of her 
instead of his wife. In the same year, the archbishop, a man 
eminent for his talent, wortli, and virtues, and gifted with 
a prophetic spirit, de])arted this life and was borne on angel's 
wings to paradise. He was succeeded by ^Elfsige, bishop of 
Winchester, and Byrhthelm, the fifth bishop of Wells, was 
translated to the see of Winchester in Alfsin's place. 

[a.d. 959.] jElfsige, archbishop of Canterbury, on his jour- 
ney to Rome to obtain the pallium was frozen to death in the ice 
and snow whilst crossing the Alps. Edwy, king of Wessex, 
died, after a reign of four years, and was buried at AVinchester 
in the Xew Minster. His brother Edgar, king of ISIercia, then 
in the sixteenth year of his age, was chosen to succeed him by 
the unanimous voice of the Anglo-Britons, in the 510th year 
from the arrival of the Angles in Britain, and tlio 2G3rd year 
after St. Augustine and his companions landed in England: and 
tlie divided kingdoms were thus re-united. Byrhthelm, ])isho]) 
of the people of Somerset (of Wells) was elected to the 

102 FLORENCE OF WORCESTEB. [aJ). 9.59, 960. 

archbisboprio oi Canterbury, bat h being the eeii«^ c^^onion 
that he 'w^is little qualified for so hish a dignity, he reruraed 
to the ehiireh he had latelv quirted. Th«eapon. St. Dunstan, 
nephew bv the brother's side of archbishop Aihelm. and abK^t 
of G-lasxonburv and aft^^rards bi^K^ of Worcester and 
London, iras bv divine grace and advic-e of the council chosen 
zo be primate and patriarch of the metropolis of England. 

Taught by his prud«it counsels, and those of other men 
of THsdoai. Edgar, king of England, put do^m wi^edness in 
aD quarters, severely punished the rebellious, cherished the 
just and humble, restored and aMriehed the ruined houses of 
God. and clearing the abodes of the el«gy of all that iras 
light and tiifling. ass«nbled troc^ of mon^ and nuns to the 
glory of the great Creator, establishing them in more than 
forty monast«ies built by his command. All these he hwioured 
as brethren, and loved as dear cinldren, admonishing with his 
own mouth the pastors he set over them, to exhort their flocks 
to live according to the monastic rule and wiiiiout refivoacfa, 
and so W well-pleasizig in all things to Christ and his saints. 
He was discreet, mild, humble, kind. lib«raL mercifuL power- 
ful in arms, and warlike : defending royally the rights of his 
kingdom by military force. He taught the people to give ready 
sul}«nission to their lords, and the lofds to rule the pe<:^le with 
justice. He enacted good bws, and his reign was most 
peacefuL He neither provoked war in any quarter, nor was 
compelled to engage in it by any provocaticm : but. by God's 
aid, he guarded the fitmiiers of his kingdo«n wirh prudenc-e, 
courage, justice, and modwation. In his wrath he was fierce 
as a Hon ag-ainst his «iemies: so that not only the princes and 
lords of the islands hdd him in awe, but the kings of many 
nations w«e eith«- struck with t«Tor and alarm by the reports 
of his wisdom and might, or loved, honoured, and extolled him 
for his munificence. The «nperor Oiho the First, who had 
married his aunt, seat him splendid jKescnts, and conduded a 
treaty of lasting peace with him. 

[jLJ>. 960.] St. Dunstan went to Bome in the third indic- 
tion. and having received die pallium from pope John, returned 
to his own country by a peaeeiful joomey. Alter the lapse of 
a few months he wait to court, and ap^pealing to the king's 
piety, suggested and humbly requested him to raise to the see 
o€ Ww^eester St. Oswald, nephew of his predecessor Odo. a 

A.D. 961— 0G9.] EDGAR. 103 

devout, meek, aiid hunible monk, of whose growth in the fear 
of God, and the vii'tues of a holy life, he was fully satisfied. 
King Edirar having granteil this request, St. Oswald was 
consecrated and enthroned a^ bishop bv St. Dunstan himself. 
On the death of Guthard, bishop of Selse^', Alfred sueceedeil. 

[a.d. 961, 962.] 

[a.d. 963.] St. Ethelwold, a venerable ablx>t who had 
been brought up by St. Dunstan, succeeded to the bishopric 
of ^Vinche^te^ on the death of Byrhthelm ; and :lie same year, 
by the king's command, he expelled the clergy, and established 
monks in the Old ^liiit^ter. Being the king's principal coun- 
sellor, he strongly advised him to expel clerks (secular canons) 
from the monasteries, and give orders for their being replaced 
by monks and nuns. 

[a.d. 964.] Edgar the Pac-ific, king of England, married 
Elfthrith the daughter of Ordgar, ealdorman of Devon, and 
widow of Ethelwold, the illustrious ealdorman of East-Anglia, 
by whom he had two sons, Edmund and Ethelred. He had 
also by his first wife Ethelfleila the Fair, sumamed Eneda, 
daughter of the ealdorman Ordmar, a son named Edward, 
afterwards king and martyr ; and by St. WuHVith a daughter 
named Edgitha, a \'ii*gin devoted to God. In the same year, 
the king settled monks ui the Xew Minster, and at !Middleton, 
and aj)|^M>inted Ethelgar abbot of the former, and Cyneward of 
the latter. 

[a.d. 965, 966.] 

[-1.D. 967.] Edgar the Pacific, king of England, placed 
nuns in the monastery at Piumsey, founded by liis grandfather 
Edward the Elder, king of England, and aj^pointed St. MaTwyn 
to be their abbess. 

[a.d. 968.] Edgar the Pacific, king of England, sent 
Sideman, a devout man, to govern the monks at Exeter, with 
the rank of abVjot. On the death of Aldred, bishop of 
Lindisfarne, he wa*^ -sUCcetMled by Alfsy. 

[a.d. 969.] Edgar the Pacific, king of England, com- 
manded St. Dunstan, archbishop of Canterbmy, and St. 
Oswald and St. Ethelwold, bishops of "Worcester and "Win- 
chester, to expel the clerks and settle monks in the larger 
monasteries of Mercia. Thereupon St. Oswald, hi compliance 
with tile king's wishes, expelled from the monastery the clergy 
of the church of Worcester who refused to become monks: 

104 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 970 — 973-. 

but on their compljnng, as lie tells us, in the present year, he 
accepted their monastic vows, and appointed Wynsin, a monk 
of Rumsey, a man of deep piety, their abbot, instead of a dean. 

[a.D. 970.] The relics of St. Swithin, the venerable bishop, 
after having been buried one hundred and ten years, were 
disinterred on Friday, the ides [the 15th] of July, in the 
thirteenth indiction, by the venerable bishop St. Ethelwold, 
and Elfstan and Ethelgar, abbots of Glastonbury and the New 
Minster, and deposited with the utmost reverence in tlie 
church of the apostles Peter and Paul (at Winchester). The 
same year Oswulf, bishop of Wilton, died, and was buried at 
Wilton : the venerable Alfgar was ordained in his stead. 

[a.D. 971.] The etheling Edmund, king Edgar's son, died, 
and was honourably buried in the monastery at Eumsey. 
The same year Alphege, ealdorman of Hampshire, died, and 
was buried at Glastonbury. Soon afterwards Ordgar, ealdor- 
man of Devon, king Edgar's father-in-law, died, and was 
buried at Exeter. 

[a.D. 972.] Edgar the Pacific, king of England, caused the 
church of the New Minster, began by his father, and completed 
by himself, to be consecrated wdth great ceremony. The same 
year Alfwold, bishop of Devon, departed this life in the nine- 
teenth year of his episcopacy, and was buried at Crediton. On 
the death of Oskytel, archbishop of York, his kinsman St. Oswald, 
bishop of Worcester, was elected his successor in the archbishopric. 

[a.D. 973.] [Stephen became the one hundred and thirty- 
fourth pope]*/ from him St. Oswald received the pallium. 
Edgar the Pacific, king of England, being then in the thirtieth 
year of his age, received the benediction of the bishops 
S S. Dunstan and Oswald, and all the other bishops of 
England, and was crowned and anointed as king with great 
]-)omp and ceremony at the city of Acamann (Bath ?) in the 
first indiction, and on the fifth of the ides [the 11th] of May, 
being Whitsunday. Shortly afterwards, he sailed round the 
north coast of Britain with a large fleet and landed at Chester. 
He was met, as he had given orders, by eight tributary kings,- 

1 This should be Benedict VI., a.d. 972—974. 

2 The Saxon Chron. and Henry of Huntingdon count only six 
of these tributary kings. Of the last five here mentioned, two are 
supposed to have been princes of N. Wales, one of S. "Wales, one of 
Gaiway, and one of Westmoreland. 

A.D. 974. 07").] EDGAR. 105 

namely, Kcnnctli, king of the Scots, Malcolm, king of the 
Cumbrians, ISIaocus (Magnus), king of several isles, and five 
otliers, named Dufnal, biferth, Huwal (Howel ?), Jacob, and 
Juehil, who swore fealty and bound themselves to military 
service by land and sea. Attended by them, king Edgar one 
day went on board a boat, and while they })lied the oars, ho 
took the helm, and steered skilfully down the course of the 
river Dee, and followed by his whole retuuie of earls and 
nobles jiursued the voyage fi'oni the palace to the monastery 
of 8t. John the Baptist. Having paid his devotions there, he 
returned to the palace with the same pomp. He is reported 
to have said to his nobles as he entered the gates, that any 
successor of liis might truly boast of being king of England 
when he should receive such honours, with so many kings 
doing him homage. Bryhthelm, bishop of Somerset, died, 
and was buried at Wells. He was succeeded by Cyneward, 
abbot of jNIiddleton. 

[a.d. 974.] This year there was .a violent earthquake 
tiirough the whole of England. Eberger, archbishop of 
Cologne, gave the abbey of St. Martin at Cologne to the Scots 
for e\er. Minborin, a Scot, was the first abbot. 

[a.d. 97-3.] King Edgar the Pacific, imperial monarch of 
the English world, the flower and glory of a race of kings, 
not less famous among the English than Eomulus among the 
Romans, Cyrus among the Persians, Alexander among the 
Macedonians, Arsaces among the Parthians, or Charles the 
Great among the Franks — after accomplishing all his under- 
takings in a manner worthy of a king, de})arted this life on 
Thursday the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of July, and the 
third indiction, in the thirty-second year of his age, the nine- 
teenth of his reign in Mercia and Northumbria, and the six- 
teenth of his reign over all England ; leaving his son Edward 
heir to his crowii and virtues. His body was carried to 
(ilastonburv and buried with royal pom]i. During his life 
he Ibriiied a fleet of 8,600 stout ships, and after Easter, every 
year, he used to collect a squadron of 1,200 ships on each of 
tlu.' eastern, western, and northern coasts of the island ; and 
make sail with the eastern squadron until it fell in with the 
western, wliicli then ])ut about and sailed to the eastward, 
while tlie western s(jua<b'()n sailed northward till it met with 
tlie northern, which, in turn, sailed to the west. Thus, the 

1CK> FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 975 — 977. 

whole island was circumnavigated every summer, and these 
bold expeditions served at once for the defence of the realm 
against foreigners, and to accustom himself and his people 
to warlike exercises. In the winter and spring he used to 
make progresses through all the provinces of England, and 
enquire diligently whether the laws of the land and his own 
ordinances Avere obeyed, so that the poor might not suiFer 
wrong and be oppressed by the powerful. By the former of 
these practices he encouraged a daring spirit, by the other the 
due administration of justice among his subjects, and in both 
consulted the interests of his states and kingdom. Thus his 
enemies on every side were filled with awe, and the love of 
those who owed him allegiance was secured. At his death 
the whole kingdom fell into a state of disturbance, and the 
season of gladness which peace established in his time was 
exchanged for one of universal tribulation. For, blinded by 
presents of value, Elfhere,' the ealdorman of Mercia, and 
many other nobles, expelled the monks from the monasteries 
in which they had been settled by king Edgar the Pacific, and 
introduced clerks with their wdves. But this madness was 
opposed by some conscientious men, such as Ethelwine, eal- 
dorman of East-Anglia, a friend of God, his brother Athwold, 
and the religious ealdorman Brihtnoth, who met together and 
declared that they could not permit the monks who possessed 
all the religion of the kingdom to be driven out of it ; they 
therefore assembled troops and defended the monasteries of 
the Eastern- Angles with great spirit- Wliile these events 
were occurring, there was a great dispute among the nobles 
respecting the election of a king ; for some chose the king's 
son Edward, and others his brother Ethelred. In consequence 
of this, the archbishops Dunstan and Oswald, with their 
suiFragans, and many abbots and ealdormeu, met in a body and 
chose Edward, as his father had directed ; and after his election 
the new king was crowned and anointed. Cyneward, bishop of 
Somerset, died. A comet-star was seen in the time of autumn. 

[a.D. 976.] England was visited wdth a severe famine. 
In this year the great earl Oslac w^as expelled from England. 

[a.D. 977.] A very numerous spiod was held at a vill 
called KyrtHng in East-Anglia; at another synod which was 

^ Elfhere was ealdorman, or govenior of the late kingdom, and now 
important province, of Mercia. 

A.D. 978 — 982.] EDWARD — ETHELRED. 107 

afterwards held at Calne, a i-oyal vill, the whole witan of 
Enirland there assembled, exee]>t vSt. Dimstan, fell from an 
upj>er ehamber : some were kille<l on the spot, and some barely 
escaped with their lives. A third s\Tiod was held at Ames- 
bury. Sidenian, bishop of Devon, died. 

[a.d. 978.] Edward, king of England, was foully murdered 
at Corvesireate (Corfe), at the instigations of his step-mother, 
queen Elfthritha, and was buried at Wareham without royal 
pomp. His brother Ethelred, the illustrious etheling, a youth 
of graceful manners, handsome countenance, and fine person, 
was on tlie Sunday after Easter, the eighteenth of the calends 
of May [l-lth April] in the sixth indietion, cro-vsnied and 
consecrated king by archbishops Dunstan and Oswald, and ten 
bishops, at Kingston. Elfwold, bishop of Dorchester, died, 
and was buried at Sherborne. A meteor was seen all over 
England at midniglit, which was sometimes the colour of 
blood, and at other times fiery ; it afterwards formed rays of 
light of various colours, and disappeared about day-break. 

Fa.d. 979. j Elfhere, ealdorman of Mercia, came to Wareham 
with a crowd of people, and caused the holy body of the pre- 
cious king and martyr Edward to be disinterred : when it was 
imwra})ped it was discovered to be sound and free from all decay 
or corruption, and they washed it and clothed it afresh, and 
carried it to Shaftesbury and entombed it with due honours. 

[a.d. 980.J Ethelgar, the venerable abbot of the New 
Minster, was made bishop of Selsey on the sixth of the nones 
[the 2nd] of May. The same year, Southampton was laid in 
ruins by Danish pirates, and nearly all the citizens were either 
massacred or carried away captives. Shortly afterwards, the 
same party laid waste the isle of Thanet. The same year, the 
country about Chester was ravaged by Norwegian pirates. 

[a.d. 981.] The monastery of St. Petroc the confessor, in 
Cornwall, was rifled by the same pirates, who in the preceding 
year laid Southam])ton in ruins, and who afterwards ]Hllaged 
the coasts of Devonshire and Cornwall. Elfstan, bishop of 
Wilton, die<l, and was succeeded by Sigeric.^ Wulfstan, dean 
of GlastonVjury, a man eminent for piety, died. 

[a.d. 982.] Three pirate ships came to the coast of Dorset, 

^ There is some confusion in tlie successic'ii of tue bishops of Wilton : 
see the list at the end of Florence of Worcester's Chronicle, and 
William of Malmesbury de Pontif. Lil). ii. 

108 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 983 — 988, 

and the pirates ravaged Portland. London was destroyed 
by fire. Etlielmar, ealdorman of Hampshire, and Edwin, 
ealdorman of Wessex, died : the one was buried at Abingdon, 
and the otlier in the New Minster at Winchester. Herekive, 
abbess of Shaftesbury, and Ulfwin, abbess of Wareham, de- 
parted this Hfe. The same year, the emperor Otho II. having 
gone to Greece, fell in with an army of Saracens, engaged in 
a plundering expedition against the Christians, and, giving 
them battle, gained the victory after great cjirnage on both 
sides. As he was returning home, Otho, the son of his brother 
Liutolf, son of the emperor Otho I., by a daughter of Edward 
the Elder, king of England, died. 

[a.D. 983.] Elfhere, ealdorman of Mercia, a kinsman of 
Edgar, king of England, died, and was succeeded in his office 
by his son Alfric. 

[a.D. 984.] St. Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, departed 
this life, in the second indiction, on the calends [the 1st] of 
August, and was succeeded by Elphege, abbot of Bath. He 
had assumed the monastic habit in the abbey of Deerhurst. 

[a.D. 985.] The venerable monk Edwin was appointed 
abbot of the monastery of Abingdon. On the death of 
Cyneward, bishop of Wells, he was succeeded by abbot Sigar. 

[a.D. 986.] Ethelred, king of England laid siege to 
Rochester on account of some quarrel, but finding the diffi- 
culty of reducing it, ravaged the lands of St. Andrew the 
apostle. Alfric, ealdorman of Mercia, son and successor of 
Elfhere, was banished from England.^ 

Minborin, the Scotch abbot, died in the abbey of St. 
Martin, at Cologne, on Sunday the fifteenth of the calends of 
August [18th July]. Killin succeeded him. 

[a.D. 987.] This year^ two diseases unknown to the 
English in past ages, viz., a fever among men, and a murrain 
among cattle called in the English language " the skit,' and 
which may be described in latin as a flux of the bowels, sorely 
troubled the whole of England, and raged in every part of it 
beyond description, causing great mortality among the people 
and the universal loss of cattle. 

[a.D. 988.] Watchet was pillaged by Danish pirates, and 
they even slew the governor of Devon, whose name was 

^ According to the Saxon Chron., a.d. 985. ^ jj^ ggg. 

A.D. 989 092.] TRIBUTE TO THE DANES. 109 

Goda, and the most valiant thane Stronwokl, and several 
others ; but more of the Danes were killed, and the English 
remained masters of the field of death. St. Dunstan, the 
archbishop, died on Saturday the fourteenth of the calends of 
June [19th May] in the tirst indiction ; and was succeeded 
by Ethelgar, who had been a])pointed the first abbot of the 
New Minster by St. Ethelwold bishop of Winchester, and was 
afterwards bishop of the South-Saxons (of Selsey). 

[A.D. 989.] 

[a.d. 990.] Sigeric, bishop of "Wilton, succeeded Ethelgar, 
archbishop of Canterbury. He expelleil the clerks of Canter- 
bury, and introduced monks. On the death of Alfsy, bishop 
of Lindisfarne, he was succeeded by Aldliun. 

[a.d. 991.] This year, the Danes under the command of 
Justin and Guthmund, son of Steitan, laid I]>swich in ruins. 
Byrhtnoth, the intrepid ealdorman of Essex, fought a battle 
against them near Maldon ; but after great slaughter on both 
sides, the Danes' fortune was in the ascendant. In the same 
year, by the advice of Sigeric, archbishop of Canterbury, and 
the ealdormen Ethelward and Alfric, a tribute was given to 
the Danes for the first time ; ten thousand pounds being paid 
to them in consideration of their desisting from the constant 
pillage, burnings, and homicides which they practiced all 
along the coast, and of their concluding a settled peace. St. 
Oswald the archbishop, by divine aid, and encouraged by 
the supjiort of Esowy, bishop of Lincoln, on Tuesday the 
sixth of the ides [the 8th] of November, consecrated the 
monastery of Rumsey, which he and Ethelwine, ealdorman of 
East-Anglia, the friend of God, had built. 

[a.d. 992.] St. Oswald, the archbishop, departed this life 
and soared to the blissful kingdom of heaven, in the fifth 
indiction, on Monday the second of the calends of March 
[29th February], and was interred in the church of St. ISIary 
at Worcester, which he had built from the foundations. He 
was succeeded by Aldulph, the venerable abbot of Peter- 
borough, in whose stead Kenulf was appointed abbot. Shortly 
after the death of St. Oswald, Ethelwine the ealdorman of 
famous memory, and the friend of God, departed this life. 
He was younger than his brothers Ethelwold, Alfwold, and 
Ethelsine : but he excelled them in meekness, i)iety, goodness, 
and justice ; and, bemg a man of the highest worth and 

110 FLORENCE OR WORCESTER. [a.D. 992 — 994. 

purity, was, we may be permitted to believe, admitted among 
the citizens of Paradise. His corpse was conveyed with great 
pomp to Rumsey, and interred there by St. Elphege, bishop 
of Winchester. By order of Etheked king of England, after 
consulting his nobles, the strongest-built ships from every part 
of England were assembled at London ; and the king man- 
ning them Avith a chosen body of troops, gave the command to 
Alfric, already mentioned, and Thored, both ealdormen, with 
Elfstan, bishop of Wilton, and bishop Esowy, with directions 
to blockade the Danish force in some port, and compel it to 
surrender. But ealdorman Alfric sent a private message to 
the enemy, advising them to be on their guard, and take care 
that they were not taken by surprize, and surrounded by the 
king's fleet. The ealdorman himself, a singular example of 
wickedness, in the night preceding the day which the English 
had fixed for bravely engaging the Danes, clandestmely joined 
the Danes with his whole force, and lost no time in making a 
disgraceful retreat with them. As soon as the king's fleet 
discovered this, it sailed in pursuit of the fugitives ; one 
ship only was soon taken, and after all the crew^ were dis- 
patched, given up to pillage. The rest of the fleet which 
was making its escape was accidentally met by the ships of 
the Londoners and East-Angiians, and a battle was fought in 
which many thousands of the Danes fell. Ealdorman Alfric's 
own ship with its armed crew was captured by the "sictors, 
Alfric himself escaping with great difliculty. 

[a.D. 993.] This year the aforesaid Danish army took 
Bamborongh by storm, and carried oif all that was found 
in store there. They then directed their course to the river 
Humber, and, burning many vills, and butchering many people, 
took much booty in Linclsey and Northumbria. The pro- 
vincials hastily assembled to oppose them ; but at the moment 
of attack, their leaders Frana, Frithogist, and Godwin, being 
Danes by the father's side, betrayed their followers and gave 
the signal for flight. The same year Alfgar, the sou of Alfric, 
the ealdorman, before-mentioned, was deprived of sight by 
command of king Ethelred. 

[a.D. 994.] Anlaf (Olaf) king of Norway^ and Sweyn king 
of Denmark arrived in London with ninety-four gallies on the 

^ Olaf Trygvisson reigned from about a.d. 995 to 1000 See hislago 
in Laing's Heimskringle, vol. i., p. 367. 

A.D. iX^-l:, &{*0.] RAVAGES OF THE DAyE>. Ill 

day of the XatiWty of St. Mary [Sth September]. an<l soon 
afterwards made an attempt to break down the walls and bum 
the city ; Init by the aid of God and his mother ^lary, the 
enemy was repulsed witli considerable loss. Roused to fury 
and despair, they forthwitli diew ott* frum the place, and in 
the first instance overran the coasts of Essex and Kent, and 
afterwards Sussex and the j^rovince of Hants, burning 
the villages, laying waste the lands, putting numbers of 
people to death by fire and sword, without regard to sex, 
and sweepinar otf an immense booty. At last, seizing horses, 
they rode v.-ildly tln-ough many pro\-inces. and slaughtered the 
whole poj^ulation with savage cruelty. s})aring neither the 
women nor children of tender aore. Then king Ethelred, by 
the advice of his nobles, sent envoys to them with a promise 
of tril>ute and regular pay if they would entirely desist from 
their barbarities. Consenting to the king's proposal, they 
returned to their ships, and. assembling their whole force at 
Southampton, wintere<:l there. Their pay was defrayed by 
Wessex ; but the tribute, amounting: to sixteen thousand 
pounds, was levietl throughout aU Encrland. 

Meanwhile. Elphecre, bishop of Winchester, and the noble 
ealdorman Ethelward. went to king Olaf by order of king 
Ethelred. and ha^-ing gi^•en hostage??, conducted him with 
honour to the royal \-ill of Andover where the king was 
residine. The king treated him with great distinction, and 
causing him to l>e confirmed by the bi^ho}>, adopted him a« Ids 
son. and made him a royal present. He. on his part, promised 
king Ethelred that he would never asrain in\-ade England ; and 
afterwards returning to his fleet, sailed for his own kingdom 
at tlie !•( ginning of summer, and faithfully kept his promise. 

[a.d. 99'5.] A comet was seen. Alfric. a monk of Glaston- 
bury- and bishop of Wilton. succee<.le<l Sigeric. archbishoj> of 
Canterbury', and Brightwold succeeded ALtric at Wilton. 
Lindisfanie-Ii is the name of an island conunonly called 
Haliir-Ealond (Holy Island^. It is surroundeil by the sea, 
but at the ebl) of tlie tide it may be approaches! dr\--shod 
everv «iay. In this island was the episcopal see of Cuthl^ert 
and hi-* pre<lecessors and succe**ors for a lonsr i»erio»l. At the 
time [a.d. S7.i>] when Hiniruar and Hubba ravaced England, 
Eanlulf, who was then bi>hop of Lin<li>farne, and the clerg\- 
attached to his church, took the uncorrupted body of St. 

112 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 996 — 999. 

Cutlibcrt, and quitting the island on account of the cruelties 
of the barbarians, wandered about with the body of St. Cuthbert 
for some years, not having any settled abode, until at last the 
episcopal see was fixed at Cunegaceastre (Chester-le-Street), 
in the time of Alfred, king of England. After the lapse of 
many years, in the reign of Ethelred, king of England, the 
lioly body was brought to Durham, in consequence of a divine 
revelation, and the seat of the bishopric was fixed there. For 
this reason the holy Bede places the original see at Lindis- 
farne ; for in his time Durham was unknown. The bishop's 
see was transferred to Durham in the year of our Lord 995. 

[a.D. 996.] Alfric, archbisho}) of Canterbury, was con- 

[a.D. 997.] The Danish army which had remained in 
England sailing round the coast of Wessex, entered the mouth 
of the river Severn, and at one time ravaged North (South ?) 
Wales, at another Cornwall, and then Watchet in Devon, 
burning many vills and making great slaughter of the inhabi- 
tants. Sailing round Penwith-Steort (the Land's-End) on 
their return, they entered with their ships the mouth of the 
river Tamar, which divides Devon and Cornwall, and carried 
fire and sword as far as Lydford, meeting with no resistance. 
They burnt besides the monastery of Ordulf, the ealdorman 
of Devon, called Tavistock, and, returning to their ships 
loaded with immense booty, wintered there. 

[a.D. 998.] The army of Pagans, already mentioned, 
landed at the mouth of the river Frome, and laid waste the 
greatest part of Dorsetshire. It then made frequent descents 
on the Isle of Wight, and back again to Dorsetshire, intent on 
plunder, as usual ; and when it lay in the Isle of Wight it 
gathered its means of subsistence from Sussex and Hampshire. 
An army was several times assembled to oppose these ravages, 
but as often as they were on the eve of battle, the English 
were checked by some treachery or misadventure, and they 
turned their backs and left the enemies masters of the field. 

[a.D. 999.] The often-mentioned army of Pagans entered 
the mouth of the river Thames and went up the Medway to 
Rochester, and in a few days entrenched themselves round it. 
The Kentish men assembled in a body to repulse them, and 
fought a sharp battle with them, but after great slaughter on 
both sides, the Danes remained masters of the field of death. 

A.D. 1000— 1002.] ETIIELRED's WARS. 113 

[a.d. 1000.] This year the Danish fleet, ab-eady mentioned, 
sailed over to Normandy. King Ethelred ravaged nearly the 
-whole territory of the Cumhrians. He gave orders to his 
fleet to sail round North Wales and meet him at a place 
appointed ; but it was prevented by strong winds : it, however, 
laid waste the island of Mona. 

[a.d. lOUl.] The body of St. Jve, the arclibisliop, was 
discovered. The aforesaid army of Pagans sailing back from 
Normandy to England entered the mouth of the river Exe, 
and shortly afterwards marched to besiege Exeter. But when 
they attempted to make a breach in the walls they were 
repulsed by the citizens, who vigorously defended the place. 
Thereupon, greatly exasperated, they overran De^'onshire, 
burning the villages, laying waste the fields, and butchering 
the inhabitants, in their usual manner. Thereupon, the people 
of De^■on and Somerset assembled at a ])lace called Penho, 
but tiie English, not being able to resist the numbers of the 
Danes Mith their small force of soldiers, were routed with 
great slaughter, and the Danes got the victory. Tlien, having 
sup})lied themselves with horses, they did more mischief than 
before through nearly all Devon, and returned to their ships 
with immense booty. Thence they made for the Isle of 
Wight, and meeting with no opposition, plundered as usual 
there, sometimes in Hampshire, sometimes in Dorsetshire, 
attacking the inhabitants and burning the ^■ills with such fury, 
that neither the fleet dared to engage them by sea nor the 
army by land, to the king's deep sorrow, and the unspeakable 
distress of his peo])le. 

[a.d. 1002.] Ethelred, king of England, having held 
counsel with the great men of his kingdom, thought it expe- 
dient to make a treaty witli the Danes, hiring tliem with 
money, and paying them tribute to cease their ra\ages and 
keoi> the peace. Leofsy, the ealdorman, who was sent to them 
witli this i)roposal, urged them to accept the terms. They lent 
a favourable ear to his message, and granted his re(|uest, fixing 
the amount of tri1>ute for which they would keep the jieace. 
Shortly afterwards twenty-four thousand pounds were paid to 
them. Meanwhile, the said ealdorman Leofsy slew yEfic, a 
noble, and the king's high-reeve, at wliich the king was so 
incensed that he banished him from the country. The same 
year king Ethelred married Emma, who is called by the Saxons 


114 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1002, 1003. 

Elfgiva, daughter of Eichard I., duke of Normandy. Aldiilf, 
archbishop of York, having assembled his suffragan bishops, 
abbots, priests, monks, and men of religion, on Wednesday, 
the seventeenth day of the calends of May [15th April], m 
the twenty-fifth year of the reign of Ethelred, king of England, 
the fifteenth indiction, disentombed the relics of St. Osvv'ald 
the archbishop, and deposited them with great ceremony in a 
shrine which he had caused to be prepared. He himself died 
shortly afterwards, that is, on the second of the nones [the 6th] 
of May, and was bui'ied in the church of St. Mary, at 
Worcester : he was succeeded by abbot Wulfstan. The same 
year king Ethelred gave orders for the massacre of all the 
Danes of every age and both sexes, in consequence of theii' 
haA-ing conspired to deprive him and his nobles of their life 
and kingdom and reduce the whole of England under their 

[a.D. 1003.] In this year, through the contrivance, negli- 
gence, or treachery of Hugh, a Norman covnit,^ queen Emma's 
steward of Devon, Sweyn, kmg of Denmark, took Exeter by 
storm, and levelling the wall from the eastern to the western 
gate, retired to his ships loaded with booty. After this, while 
he was ravaging Wiltshire, a large body of the men of Hants 
and Wilts assembled and marched boldly against the enemy 
to give them battle ; but w^hen the two armies came in sight 
of each other, Elfric, the ealdorman already mentioned, who 
was then in com^mand of the English, immediately resorted to 
his old devices, and feigning sickness, began to vomit, declaring 
that he w^as so ill that he could not fight the enemy. His 
troops perceiving his inactivity and cowardice, marched away 
in great sorrow, without joining battle; as it is said in the old 
proverb: "w^hen the general fails, the army quails."- Sweyn 
observing that the English faltered, led his forces to the city 
of Wilton, which he plundered and burnt. In this manner 
he burnt Searebury (Sarum), and then returned to his ships. 

Kilian, a Scot, and abbot of the Scottish monastery of St. 
Martin, died on the nineteenth of the calends of January [14th 
December]. Helias, a Scot, succeeded him. 

Sweyn, king of Denmark, landed from his fleet at Norwich, 

^ The Saxon Chron. calls Hugh " a French churl." 
^ In the Sax. Chron. two rhyming verses. See the note to Henry of 
Huntingdon's Hist, Antiq. Lib., p. 185. 

A.D. 1005, lOOC] WARS WITH THE DANES. 115 

which he pillaged and burnt. Then Ulfkytel, the resohite 
ealdorman of East-Anglia, being taken by surprise, and having 
no time to assemble troops against the enemy, hehl council 
with the East-Anglian nobles and made peace with the king. 
But he broke the treatv' three weeks afterwards, and landing 
liis forces secretly, assaulted Thetford, which he pillaged, and 
after remaining there one night set it on fire at daybreak. 
On hearing this Ulfkytel ordered some of the country people 
to destroy the enemy's ships ; but they either did not venture, 
or neglected, to obey his orders. Meanwhile he got his troops 
together as quietly and (|uickly as he could, and led them 
against the enemy. Meeting them with an inferior force as 
they were retreating to their ships, a hard-fought battle ensued, 
in which some of the East-Anglian nobles fell; and after 
great slaughtt.-r on both sides, the Danes escaped with extreme 
diiiiculty. Indeed, if the East-Anglians had been in full force 
they would never have got back to their ships ; for they con- 
fessed themselves that they had never sustained 4jo fierce and 
determined an attack a.s that of the ealdorman Ulfkytel. 

[a.d. lOOo.] This year England was visited with a severe 
and general famhie, in consequence of which the Danish king 
Sweyn withdrew to Denmark — to return shortly afterwards. 
On the death of Alwine, bishop of Wells, he was succeeded 
by Living, also called Athelstan. 

[a.d. 1006.] Alfric, archbishop of Canterbury, died, and 
was succeeded by Alphege, bishop of Winchester, to which see 
Kenulf, abbot of Peterborough, v^as preferred. 

King Ethelred stripped AV'ulfgeat, son of Leofsy, his prin- 
cipal favourite, of his estates and honours, on account of his 
unrighteous judgments and arrogant deeds. The crafty and 
treacherous Edrie Streon insidiously plotting against the noble 
ealdonnan yElihelm, prepared a great entertainment at Shrews- 
bury, to which he invited him. iElihelm accepting the invita- 
tion was welcomed by Edric Streon as his intimate friend ; 
but on the third or fourth day of the feast, he took him to hunt 
in a wood where h<» had laid an ambuscade ; an«l when all 
were engaged in the chace, a rufhan of Shrewsbury called 
Godwin Port-Hund, which signifies the town's hound, who had 
bei n long bcfor*^ brilxnl by the ])rofuse gifts and promises of 
Edric to commit the crijue, suchlciily s])rung from his andjusk 
and basely assassinated the ealdorman ^^^Ifhelm. A short time 


116 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 1006, 1007. 

afterwards, his sons Wulfheag and Ufgeat were, by king 
Ethelred's orders, deprived of sight at Corsham, where he wa^ 
then residing. Kenulf, bishop of Winchester, died, and was 
succeeded by Ethelwold. 

In the month of July following, an immense army of Danes 
came over to England, and landing at the port of Sandwich, 
destroyed with fire and sword all that stood in their way, and 
pillaged to a vast extent both in Kent and Sussex. In con- 
sequence, king Ethelred collected an army in Mercia and 
Wessex, and resolved to give them battle with great vigour ; 
but they were little disposed to meet him openly in the field, 
but made frequent expeditions for pillage in various quarters, 
and then retreated to their ships according to their usual tactics. 
In this way they harassed the English army during the whole 
autumn ; but when it was disbanded on the approach of winter, 
the Danes crossed over to the Isle of Wight with their enormous 
booty and sojourned there until the feast of our Lord's Nativity ; 
at which, as the king was then in Shropshire, they went through 
Hampshire into Berkshire, and burnt Reading, Wallingford, 
Cholsey, and many villages. Moving from thence and crossing 
Ashdown, they reached Cwichelmes-lawe (Cuckamsley-Hill). 
Returning by another road they found the people of the 
country drawn up in battle array near Kennet, and immediately 
attacked them and put them to flight : they then retired to 
tJieir ships with the plunder they had taken. 

[a.D. 1007.] In this year Ethelred, king of England, with 
the consent of his witan, sent envoys to the Danes with orders 
to notify to them that he would supply them with pro^'isions 
and pay them tribute, on condition of their desisting from 
pillage and making and keeping a durable peace. They agreed 
to his terms, and thenceforth tlie whole of England provided 
them with subsistence and paid them a tribute of thu'ty-six 
thousand pounds. The same year the king made the before- 
mentioned Edric, son of Ethelric, ealdorman of Mercia ; he was 
a man, indeed, of low origin, but his smooth tongue gained 
him wealth and high rank, and, gifted with a subtle genius 
and persuasive eloquence, he surpassed all his contemporaries 
in malice and perfidy, as well as in pride and cruelty. His 
brothers were Brihtric, Elfric, Goda, Ethelwine, Ethelward, 
and Ethelmere, the father of Wulfnoth, who was the father of 
G odwin, ealdorman of Wessex. 

A.D. 1008, 1009.] ETIIELRED FITS OUT A FLEET. 117 

[a.d. 1008.] Etiielrod, king of England, ordered ships to 
be diligently built in all the ports, nialving every three hundred 
and ten hides throughout England furnish one ship, and every 
nine a breast-]>late and a helmet. When these ships were 
ready, he put on board chosen troops, with supplies of pro- 
visions, and assembled the fleet at Sandwich to guard the 
coasts of the kingdom from foreign invasions. At that time, 
or a little before, Brilitric, brother of the traitorous ealdorman 
Edric Streon, a supple, ambitious, and proud man, falsely 
accused to the king Wulfnoth his ealdorman in Sussex, who 
immediately fled to avoid being arrested ; and collecting 
twenty ships, made frequent descents and plundered the sea- 
coast. But when it was notified to the fleet that whoever 
would might easily take him, Brilitric went in pursuit of hun 
with eighty ships. For a while he had a favourable voyage, 
l)ut a violent storm suddenly arose which tossed and shattered 
his ships and wrecked them on the shore, and Wulnoth burnt 
them soon afterwards. On hearing tliis, the king with his 
ealdormen and nobles returned home ; but the fleet by his 
orders proceeded to London ; and the vast toil of the whole 
nation was thus thrown away. 

[a.d. 1009.] Thurkill, a Danish jarl, came over to 
England with his fleet ; and afterwards, in the month of 
August, another immense fleet of Danes, under the command of 
Heming and Eglaf, touching at the Isle of Thanet, speedily 
joined the other fleet. Both then sailed to the port of Sand- 
wicli, where the troops landed, and proceeding to attack 
Canterbui-y, tried to storm the place ; but the citizens with 
the people of East-Kent quickly sued for peace, and obtained 
it on j)ayment of three thousand pounds. The Danes went 
back to their ships and directed their course to the Isle of 
Wight ; then, according to their custom, they made i)iratical 
descents on the coast of Sussex and Ham])shire and burned 
several vills. Thereupon king Ethelrcd collected troo|).s from 
all parts of England, and stationed them in districts lying 
near the sea to check these irru])tions ; but, notwithstanding, 
they did not desist from plundering wherever the locality j)er- 
mitted. On one occasion, when they had been ])illaging further 
inland than usual, and were on their return laden with booty, 
the king took i)()ssession, witli many thousand armed men, of 
the road they had to in their way to their ships ; and as 

118 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1009, 1010. 

his whole army was assembled, resolved either to conquer or 
die. But the traitorous ealdorman Edric Streon, his son-in-law 
(for he had married his daughter Elgitha), used every effort 
by insidious and perplexing counsels to prevent a battle and 
persuade the king, for that time, to let the enemy pass. His 
policy prevailed, and like a traitor to his country, he rescued 
the Danes from the hands of the English, and suffered them to 
escape. Drawing off their forces they with great joy regained 
their ships. After this, when the feast of St. Martin [11th 
November] was past, they sailed for Kent, and selecting their 
winter quarters near the river Thames, forcibly obtained their 
suppUes from Essex and other provinces on both banks of the 
river. They also frequently attacked the city of London and 
endeavoured to storm it, but the citizens repulsed them with 
severe loss. On the death of Osbriht, bishop of Selsey, he was 
succeeded by JElmar. 

[a.D. 1010.] The before-mentioned army of Danes sallied 
from their ships in the month of January, and traversing the 
wood called Chiltern, marched to Oxford, which they plundered 
and burned, pillaging the country on both sides the river 
Thames as they returned to their ships. Receiving intelligence 
that forces were assembled at London ready to attack them, 
part of the army which was descending the right bank of the 
river crossed it at a place called Staines, when both divisions 
being united, they marched through Surrey, loaded with booty, 
and regained their ships, which they refitted during Lent, 
while they were stationed in Kent. After Easter [the 9th 
April] they sailed to East-Anglia, and landing near Ipswich 
marched to a place called Ringmere, where they knew that 
Ulfkytel the ealdorman had posted his troops. They fought 
a desperate battle with him on the third of the nones [the 5th] 
of May,^ but when the fight was the thickest the East-Anglians 
gave way, Thurkytel, surnamed Myren-Heafod,^ a Danish jarl, 
being the first to flee. The Cambridge men stood their 
ground a long time, fighting manfully ; but they were at last 
defeated and forced to retreat. In this battle fell Athelstan, 
the king's son-in-law, Oswy, a noble thane, and his son, Wulfric, 
son of Leofwine, Edwy, brother of Elfric, before-mentioned, 
with many other noble thanes, and immense numbers of the 

^ On Ascension day [18th May], Sax. Chron. 2 The "Ant-head." 

A.D. 1010, 1011.] TRIBUTE PAIP TO THE DANES. 119 

common peojilo. The Danes, remaining masters of the field of 
deatli, obtained ]K)Sse.ssion of East-Anglia, and, mounted on 
liorsebaek, scoured the whole province during three months, 
])lundt*ring, burning vills, and butchering men and beasts, 
nitliour cessation ; in the fens also they did the same, and 
afterwards pillaged and burnt Thetford and C':\. abridge. 

After all this they returned to the river Thames, the infantry 
embarking in s]ii})s, the cavalry proceeding on horseback. In 
a few days they went on another plundermg expedition, taking 
the direct road to Oxfordshire, which they first ravaged, and 
tiien Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire, burn- 
ing vills and butchering men and animals, and afterwards 
retreating to their ships with much plunder. After this, 
about the feast of St. Andrew the apostle [30th November], 
they burned Northampton and as much of the surrounding- 
country as they pleased, and then crossing the river Thames, 
went into Wessex, and having set fire to Caningamersce 
(Ke;yTisham?) and the greatest part of Wiltshire, they, as usual, 
returned to their ships about Christmas. 

[a.d. loll.] East-Anglia, Essex, Middlesex, Hertfordshire, 
Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, 
half of Huntingdonsiiire, and a great part of Northamptonshire, 
and, on the south side of the river Thames, Kent, Surrey, 
Sussex, Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Berkshire, having been 
ruined with fire and sword by the before-mentioned army of 
Danes, Ethelred, king of England, and his witan ^ sent envoys 
to them sueing for peace, and offering them pay and tribute if 
they would desist from their ravages. Having received the 
message, they accepted the proposals, but as the event showed, 
not witliout guile and subterfuge ; for although they were 
plentifully supplied with provisions, and the tribute they 
demanded was paid, they continued to scour the country in 
bands, laying wiiste the vills, spoiling some of the wretched 
inhabitants of their goods, and killing others. At length, 
between the feast of the Nativity of St. ^lary [8th September] 
and that of St. Michael, they dug a trench, round Canterbury, 
and laid siege to it. On the twentieth day of the siege, 
through the treachery of the archdeacon .^Imar, wliosc life 
St. EI])hege had formerly saved, one quarter of the city was 

^ " The witan, both clergy and laity." Sax. Chron, 

120 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1011, 1012. 

set on lire, the army entered, and the place was taken ; some 
of the townsmen were put to the sword, others perished ui the 
flames, many were thrown headlong from the walls, some were 
hung by then* private parts till they expired ; matrons were 
dragged by their hair through the streets of the city, and then 
cast into the fire and burnt to death ; infants, torn from their 
mothers' breasts, were caught on the point of spears or crushed 
in pieces under the wheels of waggons. 

!RIeanwhile, Alphege, the archbishop, was seized, and being- 
loaded with fetters was imprisoned and tortured in various 
ways. ^Imar, the abbot of St. Augustine's monaster}*, was 
permitted to depart ; Godwin, bishop of Rochester, was made 
j)risoner, as well as Leofruna, abbess of St. Mildred,^ Alfrid, 
the king's reeve, with the monks and canons, and vast numbers 
of the people of both sexes. Then Christ's Church was plun- 
dered and burnt, and the whole male population, including the 
monks, women and children being excepted, were decimated ; 
nine were put to death, and eveiy tenth pei*son suffered 
to live. The numbers who perished in this decimation were 
four monks and eight hundi*ed of the laity. "SMien the people 
had been thus slaughtered, and the city pillaged and burnt to 
the ground, Alphege, the archbishop, was brought out in 
fetters and dragged along, severely wounded, to the ships ; then 
he was again thi'ust into prison, where he underwent great 
suffermgs durmg seven months. Meanwhile, the wrath of God 
raged fiu'iously against that blood-thirsty people, and two 
thousand of them perished from excruciating pains in the 
bowels ; the rest being attacked in a similar manner were 
admonished by the faithful to make satisfaction to the arch- 
bishop ; but they deferred it, and the mortality still continued, 
carrying them off by tens and twenties, and sometimes more. 

[a.D. .1012.] Ediic Streon, the traitorous ealdorman, and 
the great lords of the realm, of both estates," assembled in 
London before Easter [13th April], and remained there until 
the tribute of forty-eight thousand pounds promised to the 
Danes v/as paid. Meanwhile, on the Holy Saturday, when 
om* Lord rested in the grave [19th April], the Danes offered 
to Alphege, the archbishop, his life and liberty on payment of 
three thousand pounds, but he refusing such terms, they put off 

^ lu oLe isle of Thanet. - Sax. Chron. ; regni primates. Florence. 

A.D. 1012, 1013.] MURDER OF ST. ALPIIEGE. 121 

liis execution until the next Saturday. When it aiTived, tlieir 
fury was greatly inflamed against him, and having intoxicated 
themselves hy deep draughts of ■wine, and being incensed at 
Iiis having forbidden any ransom to be paid for his li})eration, 
they brought him forth from his dungeon and dragged him to 
their husting.^ Presently they started up, felled him to the 
ground with the backs of their battle-axes, and showered on 
him stones, bones, and ox-skulls. At length one of them, 
whoso name was Thnnn, a man he had confirmed only the day 
before, with compassionate impiety, split his liead with an axe, 
and he instantly fell asleep in the Lord, on the thirteenth of 
the calends of May [19th April], and his triumphant spirit 
ascended to hea\'en. His coq^so was candied to London on the 
day following, and being received by the citizens with deep 
reverence, was inteiTcd in St. Paul's church by Ednoth, bishop 
of Lincoln,^ and Alfliun, bishop of London. After these events, 
the tribute being paid and the peace ratified by oaths, the 
Danish fleet, which had before kept together, dispersed far and 
wide ; but forty-five of tlie ships remained with the king, the 
crews swearing fealty to him, and engaging to defend England 
against foreigners, on condition that he supplied them with 
food and raiment. 

[a.d. 1013.] Living was preferred to the arclibishopric of 
Canterbury. In the month of July, Sweyn, king of Denmark, 
sailed with a powerful fleet to the port of Sandwich, and 
having remained there a few days departed, and, sailing round 
East-Anglia, entered the mouth of the river Humber ; thence 
he went up the river Trent to Gainsborough, where lie 
encamped. Earl Uhtred, with his Northumbrians and men of 
Lindsey, in the first instance, and afterwards the inhabitants 
of the Five Burghs, and, before long, the whole population 
north of the Watling Street, that is, the road which the sons 
of king Weatla made across England from the eastern to the 
western sea, offered him submission ; and peace being ratified 

^ Saxon Chron. The liuh-thiiuj -was the popular assembly, as well 
as the court of judicature, of the Northmen — Florence uses the word 

- Of Dorchester. The see was not removed to Lincoln until about 
the year lO.']-*) ; but Florence generally uses the latter title. See the 
account of the translatiou in Henry of Huntingdon's pp. ^19 and 
:{()4, Antlq. Lib. 


with him, delivered hostages and swore fealty to him ; upon 
which he commanded them to supply his army with horses and 
provisions. All this being accomplished, he committed the 
ships and hostages to the care of his son Canute, and select- 
ing an auxiliary force from his new subjects, undertook an 
expedition against the East-Mercians ; and having passed the 
Watling Street, published an order to his troops to the effect 
that they should lay waste the fields, burn the villages, plunder 
the churches, slay without mercy all the men who fell into 
their hands, reserving the women to satisfy their lusts, and, in 
short, do all the mischief they could. His men doing as they 
were ordered, and revelling in all kinds of brutality, he came 
to Oxford, and getting possession of it sooner than he expected, 
took hostages and pushed forward to Winchester. On liis 
arrival there, the citizens, panic-struck at his enormous cruelty, 
at once made peace with him, and gave him such hostages as 
he chose to demand. These being delivered, he moved his 
army towards London, but many of his troops were drowned 
in the river Thames, because they never thought of looking 
for a bridge or a ford. Having reached London, he tried 
various ways of taking it, either by stratagem or by assault ; 
but Ethelred, king of England, with the citizens, supported 
by Thurkill, the Danish jarl, so often mentioned, who was then 
in the city with him, stoutly defended the walls and drove him 
off. After this repulse, he first marched to Wailingford, and 
then to Bath, pillaging and destroying as usual all that fell in 
his way. There he sat down for a time to refresh his army ; 
and Ethelmar, ealdorman of Devonshire, with the western 
thanes, came to him and made their peace, delivering hostages. 
Having accomplished all this according to his wishes, and 
returned to his fleet, he was hailed and acknowledged king by 
all the people of England ; if, indeed, he can be called a king, 
who acted in almost all things as a tyrant. Even the citizens of 
London sent him hostages and made peace with him, for they 
were apprehensive that his fury towards them was raised to such 
a pitch, that he would not only confiscate all their property, 
but either have their eyes torn out, or cause their hands or 
feet to be amputated. Finding things in this state, king 
Ethelred sent his queen, Emma of Normandy, to her brother 
Bichard II., earl (duke) of Normandy, together with his sons, 
Edward and Alfred; attended by their tutor Alfliun, bishop of 

A.D. 1013, 1014.] DEATH OF 8WEYN. 123 

London, and Elfsy, abbot of Peterboroiiprh. He himsolf re- 
mained for a time with the Danish fleet, wliich then lay in the 
river Thames, at a place called Greenwich, and afterwards 
sailed to the Isle of Wight, where he celebrated the feast of 
the Nativity. After Christmas, he sailed over to Normandy, 
and was received with due honour by earl Richard. Mean- 
while, the tyrant Sweyn gave orders that his fleet should be 
profusely supplied, and that an almost insupportable tribute 
should be levied. Earl Thurkill issued the same orders with 
respect to his fleet which lay at Greenwich. Besides all this, 
both of them made excursions to plunder as often as they 
chose, and committed great enormities. 

[a.d. 1014.] The tyrant Sweyn, in addition to his endless 
and cruel atrocities both in England and other countries, filled 
up the measure of his damnation by daring to exact an 
enormous tribute from the town where rests the uncorrupt 
body of the precious martyr Edmund ; a thing which no one 
had dared to do since the time the town was given to the 
church of that saint. He frequently threatened, that if the 
tribute were not speedily paid, he would burn the town and 
its inhabitants, level to the ground the church of the martyr, 
and inflict various tortures on the clergy. Moreover, he often 
disparaged the martyr's merits, presuming to say that there 
was no sanctity attached to him ; but thus setting no bounds 
to his frow^ardness, divine vengeance did not suffer the 
blasphemer to continue in existence. Towards evening of the 
day on which he had held a general Thing-Court at Gains- 
borough, repeating his threats while surrounded by throngs of 
Danes, he alone of the crowd saw St. Edmund coming towards 
liini with a threatening aspect. Struck with terror at this 
spectacle, he began to shout with great vehemence : " Help, 
comrades, help ! lo, St. Ednmnd is at hand to slay me." 
While he spoke, the saint tiirust his spear fiercely through him, 
and he fell from the war-horse on which he was seated, and 
suftering excruciating torments until twilight, died in agony 
on the third of tlie nones [the 3rd] of February. 

As soon as he was dead, the bands of men belonging to the 
Danish fleet elected his son Canute king. But the elders 
of all England, unanimously, sent messengers in haste to 
king Etheli-ed, saying that they neither did nor should love any 
one better than their natural lord, if only he were willing to 

124 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1014, 1015. 

govern them more justly, and treat them with greater gentle- 
ness than he had hitherto done. On recei\Tng this message, 
he sent his son Edward to them, accompanied by his own 
envoys, with gracious salutations to all his people, both high 
and low, and assiu-ing them that for the future he would be a 
gentle and lo\ing lord to them, consulting their wishes and con- 
forming to theii* advice in ever;)i;liing, and would graciously 
pardon whatever afironts they had put upon him or liis, either 
by word or deed, if they all unanimously agreed, without 
fraud, to receive him back as their king. To this they all 
retm*ned a favourable reply. Then an act of plenary concord 
was agreed to on both sides, both verbally and by a [solemn] 
treaty. In addition, the chiefs of the nation pledged them- 
selves imanimously not to suffer again a Danish king to reign 
in England. This being settled, the English sent over to 
Normandv, and during^ Lent the kino- was brousrht back with 
the utmost expedition, and received with universal honour. 

Meanwhile, it was agreed between Canute and the men of 
Lindsey, that on their fiu-nishing him with horses for his troops, 
they should join in a plundering expedition ; but before they 
were equipped, king Ethelred came upon them with a powerfid 
army, and ha\Tng driven out Canute and his naval force, laid 
waste, and gave to the flames, the whole of Lindsey, putting as 
many of the inhabitants as he could to the sword. Canute, 
however, consulted liis safety by a hasty flight, and directing 
his course to the south, quickly gained the port of Sandwich : 
there he exhibited the hostages his father had received from 
all parts of England, and ha^Tug cut off their hands and ears, 
and slit their nostrils, suffered them to depart : he then sailed 
for Denmark, intending to return the year following. To add 
to all these calamities, king Ethelred ordered a tribute of 
thirty thousand poimds to be paid to the fleet lying at Green- 
wich. The sea broke its bounds on the third of the calends 
of October [3rd September], and overwhelmed many vills and 
great numbers of people in England. 

[a.D. 1015.] Wliile a great coimcil was being held at 
Oxford this year, the traitorous ealdorman, Edi'ic Streon, 
perfidiously invited to his lodgings two of the most considerable 
and influential persons in the Seven Burghs, Sigeferth and 
^lorcar. and there caused them to be secretly murdered. 
King Ethelred took possession of theii* effects, and ordered 

A.D. 1015, lOlG.] Canute's successes. 125 

Elgitlia, Sigeferth's widow, to be taken to the town of 
Malmesbuiy. While slie was confined there, Edmund the 
otheling canio and married lier against his fatlier's will, and 
between the feast of the Assumption [15th August] and the 
feast of the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], he went to 
the Five-burghs, and seizing the lands of Sigeferth and Morear, 
compelled the ^■illeins to acknowledge him as their lord. 
About the same time, king Canute arrived in the port of 
Sandwich with a large fleet, and shortly afterwards, sailing 
round the coa^t of Kent, entered the mouth of tlie river Frome, 
and swei)t oft' much booty in Dorsetshire, Somersetsliii-e, and 
Wiltshire. King Ethelred then lying sick at Corsham, his sou 
Edward the etheling, on the one hand, and Edwin Streon, the 
ealdorman, who was steeped in stratagems and deceit, on 
the otlier, leN'ied a great army. But when their forces 
were united, the ealdorman laid all manner of snares for 
the etheling, and plotted his death ; which being found out, 
they presently parted and made way for the enemy. Soon 
afterwards, the same ealdorman inveigled the crews of forty 
ships of the royal fleet, which were manned by Danes, to follow 
liis fortunes, and joining Canute with them, placed himself at 
his service. The West-Saxons also submitted to liim, giving 
him hostages, and afterwaids furnished horses for his army. 
On the death of Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, he was 
succeeded by Elsy, called also Elfwin. 

[a.d. 1016.] Canute, Idng of the Danes, and the ealdorman 
Edric Streon, the traitor, having before our Lord's Epiphanv 
[6th May] crossed the river Thames at Cricklade, with a 
]DOwerful body of horse, commenced hostilities in Mercia, 
laying waste and burning many vills in Warwickshire, and 
massacring all the people they met with. When this came to 
the ears of the etheling Edmund, surnamed Ironside, he lost 
no time in collecting troops; but when the army was mustered, 
tlie ]M(Tcians r(ifused to engage with the West-Saxons and 
Danes, unless they were joined by king Ethelred and the 
Londoners ; in consequence, the army was disbanded, and 
every one returned home. The feast (of Epij)hany) being 
over, Ednmnd the ethohng gathered a still larger army, and, 
when it was assembled, sent messengers to London requesting 
his fatlier to join him as soon as possible with all the troops he 
could nuister ; uj)on whicli, the king levied a number of 


soldiers and hastened to meet him. But vrhen the forces were 
united, it was intunated to the long, that unless he took 
precautions, some of the auxiharies would betray him to 
the enemy. In consequence, disbanding his troops, he returned 
to London, and the etheling went into Northumbria ; from 
which many conjecture that it was liis intention to assemble a 
still larger army against Canute ; but as Canute and Edric on 
the one side, so he and Uhtred, earl of Northumbria, on the 
other, ravaged several provinces. They first laid waste 
Staffordshire, then Shropshire and Leicestershire, because the 
people of those districts refused to take arms against the Danish 
armv. Meanwhile, Canute and Edric Streon devastated, 
first, Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Huntingdonshire, Nor- 
thamptonshire, Lincolnshire, and Nottinghamshire, and after- 
wards Northumbria. On learning this, the etheling Edmund 
desisted from ravaging the country, and hastened to his father 
at London. Earl Uhtred hurried home, and, compelled by 
necessity, submitted, with all the Northumbrians, to Canute, 
and gave him hostages ; nevertheless, by Canute's command or 
permission, he was put to death by Thurbrand, a noble Dane, 
and Thurketil, the son of Neavan, fell with him. This crime 
being perpetrated, Canute appointed Egric earl (of Nor- 
thumbria,) in Uhtred's place, and then returning south with 
great expedition by another road, he regained his ships with 
his entire army before the feast of Easter. 

About this time, on Monday the ninth of the calends of 
May [23rd April], in the fourteenth indiction, Ethelred, king 
of England, died at London, after a life of severe toils and 
tribulations, which St. Dunstan, on liis coronation day, after 
placing the crown upon his head, predicted, in the spirit of 
prophecy, would come upon him : " Because," he said, " thou 
hast been raised to the throne by the death of thy brother, 
whom thy mother has slain, therefore hear now the word of 
the Lord ; ihus saith the Lord : ' The sword shall not depart 
from thy house, but shall rage against thee all the days of thy 
life, cutting off thy seed, until thy kingdom become the 
kingdom of an alien, whose customs and tongue the nation 
which thou rulest knoweth not. And thy sin, and the sin of 
thy mother, and the sin of the men who were parties to her 
wickedness, shall be expiated only by long continued punish- 
ment.' " His body was honourably interred in the church of 


St. l*aul the apostle. After his death, the bisliops, abbots, 
ealdormen, aiid all who ranked as nobles in England, ai>sembled 
together, and unanimou:<ly elected Canute their lord and king, 
and having eonio to him at 8outhaiui)ton, and renounced and 
repudiated all the descendants of king Etheh'ed, concluded 
peace with liim, and swore fc-alty to him ; and he, on his part, 
swore that, both as respected divine and secular atlairs, he 
would be faithful to his duties as lord over them. But the 
citizens of London, and some of the nobles who were then at 
London, mianimously chose Edmund, the etheling, to be king. 
Raised to the royal throne the intrepid Edmund went without 
delay to AVessex, and being received with great joy by the 
whole population, he quickly brought it under his rule ; and 
the people of niiuiy provinces in England, heai'ing this, gave 
lihu their voluntary submission. 

Meanwliile, Canute sailed up to London, about the Rogation 
days [7 til May], with his whole fleet, and on his arrival there 
they dug a broad ditch on the south side of the Thames, and 
di'agged their ships to the west of the bridge. They then 
surrounded the city with a broad and deep trench, so as to 
cut oft" all ingress and egress, and made frequent assaults on 
it, but the citizens resisting them manfully drove them to a 
distance from the walls. Therefore, raising the siege for the 
present, and leavmg part of the army to guard the ships, they 
made a forced march into Wessex, and allowed king Edmund 
L'onside no time to get together his army. However, with 
such troops as he was able to muster in so short a space of 
time, he boldly encountered them in Dorsetshire, giving them 
battle at a place called Pen, near Gillinghani, where he 
defeated and i)ut them to flight. After midsummer, having 
again assembled an army larger than before, he determined 
to attack Canute with spirit, and fell hi with him in Hwiccia, 
at a place called Scearstan.* Drawing up his army as the 

' iSrcdraltdt. " Sherston in Wilts (tlie Sorstain, or Sorcstone of 
Donii'sday), according to Canipilen ; but this is not 'in Hwiccia; 
according to otliers, a bonndary stone separating the counties of 
Oxford, Gloucester, Worcester, and Warwick. May not Cliimney be 
the s])ot, a hamlet in Oxfordshire, in the pai'ish of liampton-iu-the- 
Bush, near the edge of Gloucestershire ? the name of chimney being 
mtrtdy a translation (introduced after the Nomiau Coniiuest of Scear- 
ston or Seefjistan), Z'««. Skorsteen, 6V/?«.,Sckorsteen, a chimuvy ; and 
may probably have owed its origin to a Saxon house or hall, conspi- 


nature of the ground and the strength of his force requu^ed, 
he posted all his best troops in the first line, placing the rest 
in reserve, and callmg upon each by name, exhorted and 
implored them to bear in mind that they were about to 
contend for their country, their children, their wives, and 
theii' homes ; and having inflamed the ardour of his soldiers 
by such exalted language, he ordered the trumpets to sound, 
and the troops to advance slowly. The enemy's army did 
the same. Having gained a position where they could join 
battle, they attacked each other with loud shouts, fighting 
desperately with sword and spear. King Edward Ironside 
fought desperately in the first rank at close quarters, and, 
while he superintended every movement, fought hard in 
person, and often struck down an enemy, performing at once 
the duties of a brave soldier and an able general. But Edric 
Streon, the traitorous ealdorman, and Almar the Beloved, and 
Algar, son of Meawes, who ought to have supported him, having 
joined the Danes, with the provincials of Hampshire and 
Wiltshire, and a -^^ast throng of the people, king Edmund's 
army was over-matched and exhausted : still, on the first day of 
the engagement, which was Monday, the battle was so hard- 
fought and bloody, that both armies, being no longer able to 
prolong the fight for very wearmess, drew off" at sunset of 
their own accord. But the next day the king would have 
utterly defeated the Danes had it not been for a stratagem of 
Edric Streon, his perfidious ealdorman. For when the fight 
was thickest, and he perceived that the English had the best 
of it, he struck ofi' the head of a man named Osmaer, whose 
features and hair were very like king Edmund's, and holding 
it up, shouted to the English that they were fighting to no 
purpose : " Flee quickly," he said, " ye men of Dorsetshire, 
Devon, and Wilts ; ye have lost your leader : lo ! here I hold 
in my hands the head of your lord, Edmund the king : retreat 
with all speed." ^ The English were panic-struck at these 

cuous for having a chimney, at a time when that luxury was elsewhere 
unknown, or of very rare occurrence," Thorpe's note in the E. H. 
Society's Edition of Florence of Worcester. 

^ The account of this battle in the Saxon Chron. is very brief, omit- 
ting any notice of the traitor Edmund Streon's stratagem. Henry of 
Huntingdon gives J<n account of a similar ruse, but connects it with 
the battle of Offington, fought shortly afterwards. He has preserved, 

A.D. 1016.] LONDON BESIEGED. 129 

■words, more from the atrocity of the manoeuvre, tlian from 
their belief of what was aiiiiouuced ; so that some waverers 
'were on the point of taking to flight, but as soon as it became 
known that the king was alive thou- coiu*age revived, and 
charging the Danes more vigorously than ever, tliey slew 
great numbers, lighting with the utmost resolution until dusk, 
wlien the armies sei)arated as they had done the day before. 
But when the night was far advanced Canute gave orders for 
his troops to leave their camp in silence, and marching 
towards London regained his shi])s ; and shortly afterwards he 
again laid siege to London. 

When, however, day broke, king Edmund Ironside, discover- 
ing: that the Danes had retreated, retired to Wessex with the 
intention of raising a stronger army ; and the wily ealdorman, 
Edric, perceiving his brother-hi-law's dauntless courage, went 
over to him as liis rightful lord, and renewing the peace 
between them, swore that he would henceforth be faithful to 
Imn. In consequence, the Idng with the army he had 
assembled for the third time raised the siege of London and 
drove the Danes to theu' ships. Two days afterwards he 
crossed the Thames, at a place called Brentford, and fought 
a third battle with them, in which he defeated them and came 
off v'ictorious. On this occasion many of the English were 
drowned, while im])rudently crossing the river. Again the 
king retired into Wessex to assemble a more numerous force, 
whilst the Danes marched back to London, surrounded it with 
their entrenchments, and assaulted it on all sides, but, by 
God's help, they made no progress. In consequence, they 
drew off with their fleet, and entering the river Arew^e 
(Orwell ?), landed, and went to pillage m Mercia, slaughtering 
all they met, and, burning the vills in their usual manner, 
swept oft' the plunder, with which they returned to their 
ships. The foot-soldiers were conveyed in thek' ships to the 
river Medway, while those who were moimted di'ove thither 
by land the cattle they had captured. 

Meanwhile, king Ednumd Ironside assembled a powerful 
army for the fourtli time, from all England, and crossing the 
river Thames in tlie same place he had done before, speedily 

as it slioulj seem, tlie identical words used by tlio traitor, " Flet Engle, 
liet Engle; this is Edmund." — Antiq. Lib., p. lUO. 



entered Kent, and fought a battle with the Danes near Otford. 
They were unable to withstand his attack, and turning their 
horses' heads fled to She})pey. However, he slew all he could 
overtake, and if the false ealdorman, Edric, had not held him 
back at Aylesford from further pursuit, by his crafty per- 
suasions, he woidd that day have gained a complete victory. 
The king having returned into Wessex, Canute with his forces 
crossed the river into Essex, and again pillaged Mercia, 
ordering his army to commit greater enormities than before. 
Readily obeying his orders, they butchered all who fell 
into their hands, burned a great many vills, laid waste the 
fields, and then, loaded with booty, regained their ships. 
Edmund Ironside, king of England, went in pursuit of them 
with the "army he had collected throughout the whole of 
England, and came up with them, as they were retreating, at 
a hill called Assandun,^ which means the Ass's hill. There 
he quickly formed his army into three lines, supporting each 
other ; he then went round to each division exhorting them and 
adjuring them, mindful of their former valour and successes, 
to defend themselves and his kingdom from the rapacities 
of the Danes, and that they Avere going to engage with those 
whom they had conquered before. Meanwhile Canute led 
his troops by a slow march down to a level ground ; while, 
on the other hand, king Edmund moved forward his forces 
rapidly in the order he had marshalled them, and, giving the 
signal, fell suddenly on the enemy. Both ai'mies fought with 
desperation, and many fell on either side; but the traitor, 
Edric Streon, perceiving that the ranks of the Danes were 
wavering, and the English were getting the victory, fled with 
the Magesaetas"^ and the division he commanded, according 
to a previous understanding with Canute, leaving his lord, 
king Edmund, and the English army in the lurch, and 
treacherously throwing the victory into the hands of the 
Danes. There were slain in this battle jElfric the ealdorman, 
Godwin the ealdorman,^ Ulfkytel ealdorman of East-Anglia, 
Ethelward the ealdorman, son of Ethelwin, ealdorman of 
East-Anglia, the friend of God, and almost all the English 
nobility, who never sustained so severe a shock in battle as on 

^ Not Ashdown, as it has been stated, but probably Assington in 
- The people of the Hwiccas. See the note p. 32. ^ of Lindsey. 


tliat day. Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln,' formerly abbot of 
liaiiise}', and abbot Wulsy,'- were also slain ; having come to 
otter up prayers to God for the troops engaged in the battle. 
After the laj)se of a few day-^, when king Edmund Ir onside 
still wished to renew the battle with Canute, the traitorous 
ealdorraan Edrie, and some others, would not consent, but 
counselled him to make peace with Canute and divide the 
kingdom. At length he yielded to their suggestions, though 
with great reluctance, and after an exchange of messages, and 
hostages given on both sides, the two kings met at a place 
called Deerhurst. Edmund and his friends took their station 
on the western bank of the Severn ; and Canute, with his, on 
the eastern bank. Then the two kings went in fishing boats 
to an island called Olanege (Olney?)^ in the middle of the 
river, and agreeing there on a treaty of peace, amity, and 
fraternity, ratified by oaths, they divided the kingdom. 
Wessex, East-Anglia, Essex, with the city of London, [ and* 
all the country south of the Thames, were allotted to 
Edmund, while Canute obtained the northern parts of Eng- 
land ; but the supremacy of] the crown was still vested in 
Edmund. Then, having exchanged their arms and dress, and 
fixed the tribute to be paid to the fieet, the two kings parted. 
The Danes returned to their ships with the plunder they had 
taken, and the citizens of London having secured peace by 
payment of a sum of money, allowed them to pass the winter 
among them. 

After these events, king Ecbiiund Ironside died at London,^ 
about the feast of St. Andrew the apostle [30th Nov.] in the 
fifteenth indietion, but he was buried with his grandfather, 
king Edgar the Pacific, at Glastonbury. On his decease, 

' Of Dorchester. 

- Of Ramsey. 

' Henry of Huntingdon relates that the issue was decided by a sinpclo 
combat between the two kings in this island. See the note to p. ItJO 
of his History in the Ant'ni. Lib. Roger of Wendover gives the same 

^ "There is here a cliasm in all the MSS. of about a line. Imme- 
diately following the word ' Lundonia,' 'Canute' is written in a later 
hand. The words within brackets are supplied from R. de "Wend- 
over.'* — Thorpe. 

^ The Saxon Chronicle, as well as our author, is silent as to the 
tragical death attributed to Edraiuid Ironside by Henry of Huntingdon 
and Roger de Wendover, the latter of whom places the scene at Oxford. 

J 2 


king Canute commanded all the bisliops, ealdormen, and chief 
men of England, to assemble at London. ^Vlien they were 
come before them, pretending ignorance, he shrewdly in- 
quired of those who had been witnesses between himself and 
Ednuuid when they concluded the treaty for amity and 
partition of the Idngdom, what had passed between Edmund 
and him with regard to Edmund's brothers and sons ? 
Whether his brothers and sons were to succeed him in the 
kingdom of Wessex if Edmund died in his (Canute's) life- 
time? They immediately began to say, that they could 
certainly affirm that king Edmund intended to give no part of 
his kmgdom to his brothers, either diu-ing his lifetime or after 
liis death ; and they added, that they knew that it was king- 
Edmund's wish that Canute should be the guardian and 
protector of his sons until they were of age to govern. But, 
as God knows, they bore false witness and foully lied, tliinkiiig 
that he would be more favoiu-able to them, and reward them 
handsomely, for their falsehood. Instead of that, some of 
tliese false witnesses were soon afterwards put to death by the 
king's orders. After these inquiries, king Canute used every 
effort to induce the great men of the realm, already mentioned, 
to swear allegiance to him ; and they gave him their oaths 
that they would elect him king and humbly obey him, and 
find pay for his army ; and he, on his part, gi'V'ing them his 
naked hand as his pledge, accompanied by the oaths of the 
Danish chiefs, they utterly repudiated the claims of Edmund's 
brothers and sons, and denied their rights to the tlu'one. 

Edwy, one of these ethelings, the illustrious and much 
reverenced brother of king Edmund, was at once, by a most 
infamous policy of the wittan, sentenced to be banished. 
Canute, having heard the flatteries of these men, and the 
affront they had offered to Edwy, retired to his chamber in 
grfcat joy, and calling Edric, the perfidious ealdorman, to his 
presence, demanded how he could manage to deceive Edwy, 
so that his death might be compassed. He replied that he 
knew a man named Ethelward who could betray Edwy to 
death easier than he could, and that the king might speak 
with him and offer him a great reward. Having learnt the 
man's name, the king sent for liim, and said designingly to 
him : " Thus and thus has Edric the ealdorman spoken to me, 
saying that you can contrive to lead Edwy the etheling to his 


A.D. 1017.] CANUTE. 133 

destruction. Only do Avhat Ave devise, and you shall be con- 
firmed in the lionours and rank of your ancestors ; and find 
means to take his life, and you shall be dearer to me than a 
brother." He replied that he was ready to seek him out, and 
betray him to death, if it was anyliow in his power. But he 
made this promise without any intention to be Edwy's mur- 
derer, and only by way of pretence, for he was of the noblest 
blood in England. Leofsy, the reverend abbot of Thorney, 
succeeded to the bishopric of Worcester. 

[a.d. 1017.] In this year king Canute undertook the 
government of all England, and divided it into four parts, 
reserving Wessex to himself, and committing East-Anglia to 
earl Thurkill, Mercia to Edi'ic the ealdorman, and Northum- 
bria to Eric the earl. He also made a compact with the 
nobles and all the peo])le, in which they joined ; and they 
ratified a solemn concord between them on their respective 
oaths, and thus terminated and put into oblivion all their past 
animosities. Then king Canute, by the advice of Edric the 
traitor, outlawed Edwy the etheling, king Edmund's brother, 
and Edwy, who was called king of the churls. This Edwy 
Avas in the course of time reconciled with the king, but Edwy 
the etheling, betrayed by those he had hitherto supposed to 
be his best friends, was the same year, by the order, and at 
the instance of, king Canute, put to death, although innocent. 
Edric also advised him to make away with the young ethelings 
Edward and Edmund, king Edmund's sons; but as he thought 
it Avould be a foul disgrace to him, if they were murdered in 
England, he sent them, after a short time, to the king of 
Sweden, to be put to death there ; but, although they were 
allies, that king was by no means disposed to execute his 
wishes, and he sent them to Solomon king of Hungary, to spare 
their lives, and have them brought up at his court. One of 
them, namely Edmund, in course of time died there ; but 
Edward married Agatha, a daughter of the brother of the 
emperor Henry, 1)y whom he had Margaret queen of the Scots, 
Christina, a nun, and Edgar the etheling.^ In the month of 

' Solomon was not king of Hungary till lOG-3. Stephen was king 
from U'.n to lO.'JH. For the errors and improbabilities of this account 
of the fortunes of Kchvard Ironside's descendants, wliich is given in 
nearly the same way by Ordericus Vitatis, see the notes to that work in 
Bohn's edition, vol. i., p. lis. 

134 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1018 1020. 

July king Canute married the queen Elgiva, king Ethelred's 
widow ; and on the feast of our Lord's Nativity, which he 
kept at London, he ordered Edric the perfidious ealdorman to 
l)e slain in the palace, apprehending that he liimself might 
some day become a A'ictim to his treachery, as he had his 
former lords Ethelred and Edmund frequently deceived ; and 
lie caused his body to be thrown over the city walls, and left 
unburied.^ Along with him were slain Norman, son of Leof- 
win the ealdorman, who was brother of earl Leofric, and 
Ethelward son of Ethehnar the ealdorman, and Brihtric son 
of Alphege, governor of Devon, all of whom were iimocent. 
The king appointed Leofric ealdorman in his brother's place, 
and afterwards treated him "^vith great kindness. 

[a.D. 1018.] This year seventy-two thousand pounds were 
levied from all England, besides ten thousand five hundred 
pounds contributed by London, for the pay of the Danish 
army. Eorty ships of the fleet remained with king Canute, 
and the rest returned to Denmark. The English and Danes 
came to an agreement at Oxford respecting the observance of 
kmg Edgar's laws.^ 

[a.D. 1019.] Tliis year, Canute, king of the English and 
the Danes, went over to Denmark, and remained there dm'ing 
the winter. On the death of ^hnar, bishop of Selsey, Ethel- 
ric succeeded. 

[a.D. 1020.] King Canute returned to England, and held 
a great council at Ckencester on Easter-day [17th April], and 
outlawed Ethelward the ealdorman. Living, archbishop of 
Canterbury, departed this life, and was succeeded by Ethel- 
noth, surnamed the Good, son of Ethehnar, a noble. The 
same year, the chiu-ch which king Canute and earl Thurkill 
had built on the hill called Assendun^ was consecrated in their 

^ Henry of Huntingdon gives a somewhat different account of the 
period, the cause, and the mode of Edric's execution. See his history, 
in Jnliq. Lib'., p. 19G. 

2 The Danelag, or Dane-lavr, was in force through the whole of 
En.^land to the n.e. of the Wathng Street. In c. 12 of king Edgar's 
Laws, it is said, " I will, that with the Danes such good laws stand as 
they may best chuse," &c.; and in the followuig chapter, " Let the 
Danes chuse, according to their laws, what punishment they will adopt." 

^ Assington, in Essex, mentioned before. One M.S. of the Saxon 
Cliron. says : [Canute] " caused to he built there a minster of stone 
and hme, for the souls of the men who were there slain," &c. 

A.D. 1021— 102 7. J CANUTE. 135 

presence by Wulfstan, archbishop of York, and se^ oral other 
bishops, vrith great pomp and magnificence. On the death of 
Aldhun, bisliop of Lindisfarne, that cluirch was bereaved of 
pastoral care for nearly three years. A chapter of the canons 
having assembled, when the election of a bishop Avas proposed, 
a certain good priest named Edmund stood up, and said in 
joke, •• Why do you not choose me your bishop?" Those 
present did not treat this as a jest, but elected him, and after 
appointing a fast for three days, consulted St. Cuthbert's will 
respecting it. And the priest stood at the saint's head, cele- 
brating mass, a voice was heard, while he was in the middle 
of the canon, ajjparently proceeding from the saint's tomb, 
which tlirice named Edmund bishop. 

[a.d. 1021.] Betbre the feast of St. Martin [11th Nov.], 
Canute, king of England and Denmark, banished from England 
Thurkill, the earl often mentioned, and his wife Edgitha. 
Algar, bishop of the East-Angles (of Elmham) died, and 
was succeeded by Alwin. 

[a.d. 1022.] Kthelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, Mcnt 
to liome, and was received with great honour by pope 
Benedict, who gave him the pallium.^ 

[a.d. 1023.] The body of St. Alphege, the mart\T, was 
translated from London to Canterbury. Wuilstan, archbishop 
of York, died at York on the fifth of the calends of June [28th 
May], but his body was carried to Ely and buried there. He 
Avas succeeded bv ^Elfric Puttuc, i)rovost of Winchester. 
[a.d. 1024.] " 

[a.d. 1025.] Edmund, a monk, was made bishop of Lindis- 

[a.d. 1026.] ^Ifric, archbishop of York, went to Rome, 
and received the pallium from pope John. Richard II., duke 
of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by Richard III., who, 
dying the same year, was succeeded by his brother Robert. 

[a.d. 1027.] Canute, king of England and Demnark, 
received intelligence that the Norwegians held tlieir kinf>- 
Olaf in contempt on account of his meekness and simplicity, 
liis justice and piety. In consequence, he sent large sums of 
gold and silver to certain of tliem, earnestly entreating them 
to reject and depose Olaf, and submitting to him, accept hmi 

1 The Sax. Chron. gives fuller details of the journey and ceremonial. 

136 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1028 1031. 

for their kiiig. Thev greedily accepted liis bribes, and caused 
a message to be retiinied to Canute that they were prepared 
to receive liim whenever he cliose to come. 

[a.D. 1028.] Canute, king of England and Denmark, 
■went over to Norway with fifty stout siiips, and expelled 
kuig Olaf from the kingdom, which he subjugated to himself. 

[The same year was born Marianus, of Ireland, the cele- 
brated .Scot, by whose study and pams tliis excellent Chronicle 
was compiled from various books.] 

[a.D. 1029.] Canute, king of England, Denmark, and 
Xorway, returned to England, and after the feast of 
8t. Martin [11 Xov.] banished Hakon, a Danish earl, who 
had married the noble lady Grunilda, his sister's daughter by 
,Wyrtgeorn, king of the "Winidi, sending him away under 
])retence of an embassy ; for he feared that the earl would 
take either his life or his kinsrdoms. 

[a.D. 1030.] The before-mentioned, earl Haco perished 
at sea : some, however, say that he was killed in the islands 
of Orkney. Olaf, king and martyr, son of Harold, king of 
Xorway, was wickedly slain by the Xorwegians. 

[a.D. 1031.] Canute, king of England, Denmark, and 
Xorway, went in great state fi'om Denmark to Rome,^ 
and, ha\ing made rich offerings in gold, silver, and other 
precious objects, to St. Peter, prince of the apostles, he 
obtained fi'om pope John that the English School should be 
free from all tribute and taxes. On his joiu'ney to Rome and 
back, he distribiued large ahns among the poor, and procured 
at great cost the abolition of the tolls le\'ied at many barriers 
on the roads, where they were extorted from pilgrims. He also 
vowed to God, before the tomb of the apostles, that he would 
amend his life and conduct ; and he sent thence a memorable 
letter by the hands of Li^'ing, the companion of his joiu'ney, 
(a man of great prudence, at that time abbot of Tavistock, 
and afterwards, in the course of the same year, Ednoth's 
successor in the see of Crediton), and others his envoys to 
England, wliile he himself came back from Rome by the same 
road he went there, \-isiting Denmark before his return to 
England. I think it right to subjoin the text of this letter. 

^ The Saxon Cliron. and Heniy of Huntingdon agree with Florence 
as to the date of Canute's journey to Rome; but it was probably five 
or six years earher. Wippo, a cotemporary vrriter, places it in 1027. 

A.D. 1031.] Canute's letter. 137 

" Canute, king of all England, and of Denmark, Norway, 
and part of Sweden, to Ethelnoth, metropolitan, and Alfrie, of York, and to all the bishops and prelates, and 
to the whole nation of the English, both the nobles and the 
commons, ijreetins: : — 

'' I notify to you that I liavo lately taken a jonrncy to 
Rome, to pray for the forgiveness of my sins, and for the wel- 
fare of my domhiions, antl the people under my rule. I had 
long sinee vowed this journey to God, but I have been 
hitherto prevented from aecomplishing it by the aftairs of my 
kingdom and other causes of impedhnent. I now return most 
humble thanks to my God Almighty for suffering me in my 
lifetime to visit the sanctuary of his apostles, 8S. Peter and 
Paul, and all others which I could find either within or 
without the city of Rome, and there in person reverentially 
worshij) according to my desire. I have performed this 
chiefly, because I have learnt from wise men that St. Peter the 
apostle has received from God great power in binding and in 
loosing, and carries the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and 
therefore I esteemed it very profitable to seek his special 
patronage with the Lord. 

" Be it knovni to you that, at the celebration of Easter, a 
great assembly of nobles was present with our lord, the pope 
John, and Conrad the emperor ; that is to say, all the princes 
of the nations from Mount Garu-anus to the neiorhbouring sea. 
All these received me with lionour and presented me with 
magnificent gifts ; but more especially was I honoured by the 
emperor with various gifts and valuable presents, l)oth in 
gold and silver vessels, and in palls and very costly robes. 
1 spoke witli the emperor himself, and the lord pope, and the 
princes who were there, in regard to the wants of my people, 
English as well as Danes ; that there should be granted to 
them more equal justice and greater security in their journeys 
to Rome, and that they should not be hindered by so many 
barriers on the road, nor harassed by unjust tolls. The 
emperor a.ssented to my demands, as well as king Rodolph, in 
whose dominions^ these ])arriers chiefly stand ; and all the 
princes made edicts that my people, the merchants as well as 
those who go to j^ay their devotions, shall i)ass to and fro in 
their journies to Rome in ])eace, and under the security of just 
laws, free from all molestation ])y the guards of barriers or 


the receivers of tolls. I made further complaint to my lord the 
pope, and expressed my high displeasure, that my archbishops 
are sorely aggrieved by the demand of immense sums of money, 
when, according to custom, they resort to the apostolical see 
to obtain the pallium ; and it is decreed that it should no 
longer be done. All things, therefore, which I requested for 
the good of my people from my lord the pope, and the 
emperor, and long Rodolph,^ and the other princes through 
whose territories our road to Rome lies, they have most freely 
granted, and even ratified their concessions by oath ; to which 
four archbishops, twenty bishops, and an innumerable multi- 
tude of dukes and nobles who were there present, are 
witnesses. Wherefore I return most hearty thanks to Almighty 
Ood for my having successfully accomplished all that I had 
desired, as I had resolved in my mind, and having satisfied my 
wishes to the fullest extent. 

^' Be it known therefore to all of you, that I have humbly 
vowed to the Almighty Grod himself henceforward to amend 
my life in all respects, and to rule the kingdoms and the 
people subject to me with justice and clemency, giving equit- 
able judgments in all matters ; and if, through the intem- 
perance of youth or negligence, I have hitherto exceeded the 
bounds of justice in any of my acts, I intend by God's aid to 
make an entire change for the better. I therefore adjure 
and command my counsellors to whom I have entrusted the 
affairs of my kingdom, that henceforth they neither commit 
themselves, nor suffer to j)revail, any sort of injustice through- 
put my dominions, either from fear of me, or from favour to 
any powerful person. I also command all sheriffs and magis- 
trates throughout my whole kingdom, as they tender my 
regard and their own safety, that they use no unjust violence 
to any man, rich or poor, but that aU, high and low, rich or 
poor, shall enjoy alike impartial law ; from which they are 
never to deviate, either on account of royal favour, respect of 
person in the great, or for the sake of amassing money wrong- 
fully, for I have no need to accumulate wealth by iniquitous 

" I wish you further to know, that, returning by the way I 
went, I am now going to Denmark to conclude a treaty for a 

1 V 

Eodolph II., king of Burgundy. 

A.D. 1032—1034.] CANUTE'S LETTER. 139 

solid peace, all the Danes concurring, with those nations and 
peoples who would have taken my life and crown if it liad 
been possible ; but this they were not able to accomplish, God 
bringing their strength to nought. — May He, of his merciful 
kindness, ujihold me in my sovereignty and honour, and hence- 
forth scatter and bring to nought the power and might of all 
my adversaries ! AYhen, therefore, I shall have made peace 
with the surrounding nations, and settled and reduced to 
order all my dominions in the East, so that we shall have 
nothing to fear from war or hostilities in any quarter, I pro- 
pose to return to England as early in the summer as I shall 
be able to fit out my fleet. I have sent this epistle before me 
in order that my people may be gladdened at my success ; 
because, as you yourselves know, I have never spared, nor 
vdW I spare, myself or my exertions, for the needful service of 
my whole people. I now therefore command and adjure all 
my bishops and the governors of my kingdom, by the duty 
they owe to God and myself, to take care that before I come 
to England all dues belonging to God, according to the old 
laws, be fully discharged ; namely, plough-ahns, the tythe of 
animals born in the current year, and the pence payable to 
St. Peter at Rome, whether from towns or vills ; and in the 
middle of August the tythes of corn ; and at the feast of 
St. Martin the first-fruits of grain (]myable) to every one's 
parish church, called in English ciric-sceat. If these and 
such-like dues be not paid before I come, those who make 
default will incur fines to the king, according to the law, 
which will be strictly inforced without mercy. Farewell." 

[a.d. 1U32.] Tlie cluirch of St. Edmund, king and mart}T, 
was dedicated this year. 

[a.d. 1033.] Leofsy, bishop of the Hwiccas, a devout and 
humble man, died at the episcopal vill of Kempsey, on 
Tuesday, the fourteenth of the calends of September [19th 
August], and, as we may be allowed to hope, ascended to the 
heavenly realms : his V)ody was buried with honour in the 
church of St. Mary, at Worcester. Brihteag, abbot of 
Pershore, sister's son of Wulfstan, archbishop of York, was 
raised to the vacant see. 

[a.d. 1034.] Eatheric, bishop of Lincoln [Dorchester], died, 
and was buried in the abbey of Ramsey ; Ednoth succeeded 
him. Malcolm, king of the Scots, died. 

140 FLORKNCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1035, 1036. 

[a.d. 103,").] Canute, king of England, before his deatli, 
gave tlie kingdom of Norway to Swe^n, who was reported 
to he his son by Elfgiva of Northamj)ton, the daughter of 
Alf liehn the eakfornian, and the noble lady Wulfruna. Some, 
liowevor, asserted that this Elfgiva desired to have a son by 
the king, but as she could not, she caused the new-born child 
of a certain priest to be brought to her, and made the king 
fully belie\e that she had just borne him a son. He also 
gave the kingdom of Denmark to Hardicanute, his son by 
the queen Elfgiva. Afterwards, the same year, he departed 
this life at Shaftesbury on Wednesday, the second of the ides 
[the 12th] of November ; but he was buried at Winchester in 
the Old Slinster, with due honours. After his burial the 
queen Elfgiva took up her abode there. Harold also said 
that he was the son of king Canute and Elfgiva of North- 
ampton, although that is far from certain ; for some say that 
he was the son of ^ cobbler, and that Elfgiva had acted with 

res'ard to him as she had done in the case of Swevn : for our 

. *^ . 1 

part, as there are doubts on the subject, we cannot settle with 

any certainty the parentage of either. Harold, however, 

assuming the royal dignity, sent his guards in the utmost 

haste to Winchester, and tyrannically seized the largest and 

best part of the treasure and wealth which king Canute had 

bequeathed to queen Elfgiva, and having thus robbed her, 

permitted her to continue her residence at Winchester. He 

then, with the consent of many of the higher orders of 

England, began to reign as though he was the lawful heir ; 

but he had not the same power as Canute, because the arrival 

of Hardicanute, tlie more rightful heir, was looked for. Hence, 

shortly aftewards, the kingdom was divided by lot, Harokl 

getting the northern, and Hardicanute the southern portion. 

Robert, duke of Normandy, died, and was succeeded by 
his son William the Bastard, then a minor. 

[a.d. 1036.] The innocent ethelings Alfred and Edward, 
sons of Ethelred, formerly king of England, sailed from 
Normandy, where they had been for many years at the court 
of their uncle Richard, and, attended by many Norman 
knights, crossed over to England with a small fleet to confer 
with their mother, who still abode at Winchester. Some of 
the men in power were very indignant at this, being much 
more devoted to Harold, however unjustly, than to the ethe- 

A.D. 1037, 1038.] MURDER OF PRINCE ALFRED. 141 

lings : esjDecially, it is said, earl Godwin. The earl, therefore, 
arrested Alfred on his road to London to confer with king 
Harold as he had commanded, and threw him into prison. 
At the same time he dispersed some of his attendants, others 
he put in fetters and afterwards deprived of their sight, some 
lie scalped and tortured, amputated their hands and feet and 
heavily mulcted : many he ordered to be sold, and put to 
death six hundred of them at G uilford with various torments : 
but we trust that the souls of those, who, guilty of no crime, 
had their bodies so cruelly slaughtered in the fields, are now 
rejoicing with the saints in paradise. On hearing of this, 
queen Elgiva sent back her son Edward, who had remained 
with her, in all haste to Normandy. Then, by order of 
Godwin and others, Alfred was conducted, heavily chamed, to 
the Isle of Ely ; but as soon as the ship touched the land, his 
eyes w^ere most barbarously plucked out while he was on 
board, and in this state he was taken to the monastery and 
handed over to the custody of the monks. There he shortly 
afterwards died, and his body was buried, with due honours, 
in the south porch at the west end of the church ; but his 
spirit is in the enjoyment of the delights of paradise. 

[a.d. 1037.] Harold, king of Mercia and Northumbria, 
was elected by the nobles, and the whole people, king of all 
England; Hardicanute being entirely deposed, because he 
wasted his time in Denmark, and deferred coming over, as he 
was requested. His mother Elfgiva, formerly queen of England, 
was banished from the kingdom, without mercy, at the begin- 
ning of winter. As soon as a ship could be got ready she 
sailed for Flanders, where she received an honourable welcome 
from the noble count Baldwin, who, with a liberality becom- 
ing his rank, took care that she should be freely supplied with 
all things needful, as long as she required it. A little before 
this, the same year, ^fic, dean of Evesham, a man of deep 
piety, died. 

[a.d. 1038.] Ethelnoth, archbishop of Canterbury, departed 
this life on the fourth of the calends of November [29tli 
September]. Seven days after, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, 
died ; for he had prayed to God that he might not long sur- 
vive his beloved father Ethelnoth. Grimkytel succeeded him 
in the bishopric, and Eadsige, one of the king's chaplains, 
succeeded Ethelnoth in the archbishopric. In the same year 

142 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1039, 1040. 

died Mlfric, bishop of East-Anglia, and Brihteag, bishop of the 
Hwiecas, ended his days on Wednesday the third of the 
calends of January [20th December], whose see king Harold 
gave to Living, bishop of Crediton. Stigand, the king's 
chaplain, was appointed in -iElfric's place, but was afterwards 
ejected, and Grimkytel chosen in his stead ; so that he held for 
the time the two dioceses of Sussex and Essex ; but Stigand 
was restored, and Grimkytel ejected, and Stigand kept the 
bishopric of Sussex for himself, and procured that of East- 
Anglia for his brother Ethelmar ; but not satisfied with this, 
he was raised to the thrones of Winchester and Canterbury : 
he also strove hard to hold with them the bishopric of 
Sussex, and nearly carried his point. Ethelmar was succeeded 
by -^rfast, bishop of Elmham, who, lest he should have 
seemed to have done nothing — for the Normans are very 
ambitious of future renown — transferred the see from Elmham 
to Thetford. 

[a.D. 1039.] Brihtmar, bishop of Litchfield, died, and was 
succeeded by Wulfsy. The Welsh slew Edwin, earl Leofric's 
brother, with TurkiU and JElfgeat, son of Eatsy, two noble 
king's thanes, and many others at the same time. Hardicanute, 
king of Denmark, sailed to Flanders, on a visit to his mother, 

[a.D. 1040.] Harold, king of England, died at London, 
and was buried at Westminster. After his funeral, the nobles 
of almost the whole of England sent envoys to Hardicanute at 
Bruges, where he was staying with his mother, and, thinking 
it was for the best, invited him to come to England and ascend 
the throne. Thereupon, he fitted out fifty ships, and em- 
barking Danish troops, before midsummer sailed over to 
England, where he was received with universal joy, and 
shortly afterwards crowned ; but during his government he 
did not)iing worthy his royal power. For as soon as he began 
to reign, calling to mind the injuries which both he and his 
mother had suffered at the hands of his predecessor, and 
reputed brother, king Harold, he despatched to London, iElfric, 
archbishop of York, and earl Godwin, with Stor, the master of 
his household, Edric, his steward, Thrond, captain of his 
guards, and other men of high rank, with or ders to dig up the 
body of Harold and throw it into a sewer ; and when it was 
thrown there, he caused it to be di-aggcd out and cast into 

A.D. 1040, 1041.] HAROLD. nARDICANUTE. 143 

the river Thames. Shortly afterwards, it was picked up by a 
fi;iheriiian, and being immediately brought to the Danes, was 
honourably buried by them in a cemetery they possessed at 
London.^ After this, he ordered that eight marks should bo 
paid to every rower in his fleet, and twelve to each steersman, to 
be levied from the Avliole of England ; a tax so burthensome, 
that scarcely any one would pay it, and he became thoroughly 
detested by those who at first were most anxious for his 
coming. Besides, he was greatly incensed against earl Godwin, 
and Living, bishop of Worcester, for the death of his brother 
Alfred, of which they were accused by .^Ifric, archbishop of 
York, and some others. In consequence, he took the bishopric 
of Worcester from Living and gave it to ^Ifrie ; but the 
following year, he ejected -rElfric and graciously restored 
Living, who had made his peace with him. 

Godwin, to obtain the king's favour, presented him with a 
gaUey of admirable workmanship, with a gilded figure-head, 
rigged with the best materials, and manned with eighty chosen 
soldiers s])lendidly armed. Every one of them had on each 
aim a golden bracelet weighing six ounces, and wore a triple 
coat of mail and a helmet partly gilt, and a sword with gilded 
liilt girt to his side, and a Danish battle-axe inlaid with gold 
and silver hanging from his left shoulder ; in his left hand he 
bore a shield, the boss and studs of which were also gilt, and 
in his right hand a lance, called in the English tongue 
*' Atagar.''- Moreover, he made oath to the king, with ahuost 
all the chief men and greater thanes in England, that it was 
not by his counsel, or at his instance, that his brother's eyes 
were put out, but that he had only obeyed the commands of 
his lord, king Harold. 

[a.d. 1041.] This year Hardicanute, king of England, sent 
his huscarls^ through all the provinces of his kingdom to 
collect the tribute which he hac^ imposed. Two of them, 
Feader and Thurstan, were slain on the 4th of the ides [the 
4th] of May, by the citizens of Worcester and the peo^ilo of 

^ The cemetery of St. Clement-Danes, where the Northmen had a 
settlement on the bank of the Thames, outside the walls of London. 
The Saxon Chron. is silent as to Harohl's corpse beiuf? tlirown into 
the Thames and fished up, but Henry of HunLiugdun gives the sam,e 
account as our autlior. 

- An^^'lo Saxon, (clfjar ; old Norsk, atytivr. 

' Tlie Danish body-guards. 

144 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1041, 1042. 

that iieiglibourhood, in an upper chamber of the abbey-tower, 
where they had concealed themselves during a tumult. This 
so incensed the king, that to avenge their deaths he sent 
Tliorold, earl of Middlesex, Leofric, earl of Mercia, Godwin, 
earl of Wessex, Siward, earl of Northumbria, Roni, earl of 
Hereford, and all the other English earls, with almost all his 
huscarls, and a large body of troops, to Worcester, where 
jElfric was still bishop, with orders to put to death all the 
inhabitants they could find, to plunder and burn the city, and 
lay waste the whole province. They arrived there on the second 
of the ides [the 12th] of November, and beginning their work 
of destruction through the city and province continued it for 
four days ; but very few of the citizens or provincials were 
taken or slain, because, having notice of their coming, the 
people fled in all directions. A great number of the citizens 
took refuge in a small island, called Beverege, situated in the 
middle of the river Severn, and having fortified it, defended 
themselves so stoutly against their enemies that they obtained 
terms of peace, and were allowed free liberty to return home. 
On the fifth day, the city having been burnt, every one 
marched off loaded with plunder, and the king's wrath was 
satisfied. Soon afterwards, Edward, son of Ethelred the late 
king of England, came over from Normandy, where he had 
been an exile many years, and being honourably received by 
his brother, king Hardicanute, remained at his court. 

[a.D. 1042.] Hardicanute, king of England, while he was 
present at a joyous feast given at a place called Lambeth, 
by Osgod Clapa, a man of great w^ealth, on occasion of his 
giving the hand of his daughter Githa in marriage to Tovi, 
surnamed Prudan, a noble and powerful Dane, — and carous- 
ing, full of health and merriment, wdth the bride and some 
others, fell down, by a sad mischance, while in the act of 
drinkmg, and continued speechless until Tuesday the sixth of 
the ides [the 8th] of June, when he expired. He was carried 
to Winchester and buried near his father Canute. His 
brother Edward was proclaimed king at London, chiefly by 
the exertions of earl Godwin, and Living, bishop of Worcester. 
Edward was the son of Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, 
who was the son of Edmund, who Avas the son of Edward 
the Elder, who was the son of Alfred. 

Abbot Elias, a Scot, died on the second of the ides [the 

A.D. 1042, 1043.] EDWARD THE CONFESSOR. 145 

12tli] of April. Being a prudent and religious man, lie was 
intrusted with the government of the monastery of St. Pan- 
taleon, as well as of his own abbey of St. Martin. He com- 
mitted to the flames, in the monastery of St. Pantaleon, a 
beautiful missal which a French monk had copied, without 
leave, for the use of the community/ that no one in future 
might dare to do it without permission. He was succeeded 
by Maiolus the Scot, a holy man. 

[a.d. 1043.] Edward was anointed king at Winchester 
on the first day of Easter, being the third of the nones [the 
3rd] of April, by Eadsige, archbishop of Canterbury, JElrie, 
archbishop of York, and nearly all the bishops of England. 
In the same year, fourteen days before the feast-day of St. 
Andrew the apostle [IGth November], the king went suddenly 
and unexpectedly from the city of Gloucester to Winchester, 
accompanied by the earls Godwin, Leofric, and Si ward ; and 
by their advice took from his mother all the gold, silver, 
jewels, precious stones, and other valuables she possessed, 
because she had been less liberal to him than he expected, and 
had treated him harshly both before and after he was king. 
Notwithstanding, he gave orders for her being supplied with 
all necessaries, and ordered her to remain there quiet. 

Animchadus, a Scottish monk, who led a life of seclusion 
in the monastery at Fulda, died on the third of the calends of 
February [30th January]. Over his tomb lights were seen, 
and there was the voice of psalmody. Marianus, the author 
of this chronicle, took up his station as a recluse for ten 
years at his feet, and sang masses over his tomb. He has 
related what follows respecting this Animchadus : " When I 
was in Ireland," says Marianus, " in an island called Keltra, 
he entertained, with the permission of his superior, named 
Cortram, certain brethren who came there. Some of them 
departed after their meal, but those who remained sat warm- 
ing themselves at the fire, and asked him for something to 
drink, and on his refusing to give it without leave, they urged 
him to coinj)ly. At last he consented, but first sent some of 
the beverage to his superior, as for his blessing. On the mor- 

' In commune scriptum. This somewhat obscure phrase has been 
elsewhere translated "in the vulvar tongue," — a turn which we 
think it liardly admits, while we confess that we are not quite satisfied 
with our own version. 

146 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1043-5. 

rosv, being asked for what reason he sent it, he related all 
the circumstances. But his superior, for this slight fault, 
immediately ordered him to quit Ireland, and he humbly 
obeyed. He then came to Fulda, and lived a life of holy 
seclusion, as I have already said, until his death. 

" This was told us by the superior, Tigernah, on my com- 
mitting some slight fault in his presence. Moreover, I my- 
self heard, while I was in seclusion at Fulda, a very devout 
monk of that monastery, whose name was William, implore 
the aforesaid Animchadus, who was then in his tomb, to give 
him his benediction ; and, as he afterwards told me, he saw 
him' in a vision standing in his tomb, shining with great 
brightness, and giving him his benediction with outstretched 
arms ; and I too passed the whole of that night in the midst 
of a mellifluous odour." These are the words of Marianus. 

[a.D. 1044.] ^Ifward, bishop of London, who was abbot of 
Evesham, both before and while he was bishop, being unable 
to perform duly his episcopal functions, by reason of his 
infirmities, wished to retire to [his abbey of] Evesham, but 
the monks of that house would by no means consent.^ 
Wherefore he removed the greatest part of the books and 
ornaments which he had collected in that place, and some, it 
is said, which others had contributed^ and withdrawing to the 
abbey of Eamsey, took up his abode there, and offered all he 
had brought with him to St. Benedict. He died on Wednes- 
day, the eighth of the calends o/ August (the 25th July), in 
this same year, and is buried there. 

At a general synod, held about that time in London, Wulf- 
mar, a devout monk of Evesham, also called Manni, was 
elected abbot of that monastery. The same year, the noble 
lady, Gunhilda, daughter of king Wyrtgeorn, by king Canute's 
sister, and successively the wife of earls Hakon and Harold, 
was banished from England with her two sons. Hemming and 
Thurkill. She went over to Flanders, and resided for some 
time at a place called Bruges, and then went to Denmark. 
Stigand, the king's chaplain, was appointed bishop of East- 

[a.D. 1045.] Brihtwold, bishop of Wilton, died; and was suc- 
ceeded by the king's chaplain, Heriman, a native of Lorraine. 

^ Because he was afflicted with the leprosy. See Hist. Rames., 
c. civ. 

A.D. 1046-8.J A FLEET COLLECTED. 147 

Tlie same year, Edward, king of England, assembled a 
very powerful fleet at the |)ort of Sandwich, to ojipose 
Magnus, king of Norway, who threatened to invade England ; 
hut the expedition was abandoned in consequence of Sweyn, 
king of Denmark, having commenced hostilities against 

[a.d. 1046.] Living, bishop of the Hwiccas,^ Devonshire, and 
Cornwall, died on Sunday, the tenth of the calends of April 
[the 2.3rd March]. Soon after his death, the bishoprics of 
Crediton and Cornwall were given to Leofric the Briton, 
who was the king's chancellor; and A hired, who had been a 
monk of Wincliester and was then abbot of Tavistock, was 
made bishop of the Hwiccas. Osgod Clapa was banished 
from England. Magnus, king of Norway, son of St. Olaf 
the king, defeated Sweyn, king of the Danes, and reduced 
Denmark under his own dominion. 

[a.d 1047.] So much snow fell in the West, that it crushed 
the woods, and this year the winter was very severe. Grimky tel, 
bishop of Sussex, died, and was succeeded by Heca, the king's 
chaplain. ^Elfwine, bishop of Winchester, also died, and 
Stigand, bishop of East-Anglia, was translated to his see. 
Sweyn, king of Denmark, sent ambassadors to Edward, king 
of England, requesting that he would send a fleet to join 
liim against Magnus, king of Norway. Then earl Godwin 
counselled the king to send at least fifty ships, full of soldiers; 
but as the proposal was objected to by earl Leofric and all 
the people, he declined to furnish any. After this Magnus, 
king of Norway, having collected a numerous and powerful 
fleet, fought a battle with Sweyn, in which a vast number of 
troops were killed on both sides, and having driven him out 
of Denmark, reigned there himself, and made the Danes pay 
him a heavy tribute : shortly afterwards he died. 

[a.d. 1048.] Swoyn recovered Deinnark, and Harold Har- 
faager,'* son of Siward, king of Norway, and brother of St. 
Olaf by the mother's side, and by the father's uncle to king 
Magnus, returned to Norway, and shortly afterwards sent 

' It will bo recolloctod that tho ancient t«Tritory of the ITwiccas 
included and nearly corresponded with the diocese of Worcester. 

^ It should he Harold Ilardrada, a common blunder of the Eniilish 
chroniclers. King Harold Harfaaj^er reii^ned from about a.d. 8G1 to 
about ySl.— See his Saga in Laing's Heiniskruigla, vol. i. p. 271. 

L 2 

148 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1048, 1049. 

ambassadors to king Edward, making offers of peace and 
amity, which were accepted.^ 

There was a great earthquake on Sunday the first of May, 
at Worcester, Wick, Derby, and many other places. Many 
districts of England were visited with a mortality among men 
and cattle ; and a fire in the air, commonly called wild-fire, 
burnt many vills and cornfields in Derbyshire and some other 
districts. Edmund, bishop of Lindisfarne, died at Gloucester, 
but was carried by his people to Durham, and buried there. 
Edred succeeded him, but being struck by the divine ven- 
geance, Ethelric, a monk of Peterborough, was appointed in 
his stead. 

[a.D. 1049.] The emperor Henry assembled a vast army 
against Baldwin, count of Flanders, chiefly because he had 
burno and ruined his stately palace at Nimeguen. In this 
expedition were pope Leo, and many great and noble men 
from various countries. Sweyn, king of Denmark, was also 
there with his fleet at the emperor's command, and swore 
fealty to the emperor for that occasion. He sent also to 
Edward, king of England, and requested him not to let 
Baldwin escape, if he should retreat to the sea. In conse- 
quence, the king went with a large fleet to the port of 
Sandwich, and remained there until the emperor had obtained 
of Baldwin all he desired. Meanwhile, earl Sweyn, son of 
earl Godwin and Githa, who had left England and gone to 
Denmark, because he was not permitted to marry Edgiva, 
abbess of the monastery of Leominster, whom he had de- 
bauched, returned with eight ships, alleging falsely that he 
would now remain loyally with the king. Earl Beorn, son of 
his uncle Ulf, a Danish earl, who was son of Spracing, who 
was son of Urso, and brother of Sweyn, king of Denmark, 
promised him to obtain from the king the restoration of his 
earldom. Earl Baldwin having made peace with the emperor, 
the earls Godwin and Beorn, by the king's permission, came 
to Pevensey with forty-two ships ; but he ordered the rest of 
the fleet to return home, with the exception of a few ships 
which he retained there. When, however, he was informed 

^ The paragraph inserted in the Chronicle under the year 1047, 
describing Sweyn's application for naval aid, and the refusal it met 
with, is here repeated in the original text, apparently from inad- 
vertence, in almost the same words. 

A.D. 1049.] MURDER OF BEORN'. 140 

tliat Osgod Clapa lay at Wulpe^ witli twenty-nine ships, he 
i-ecalled as many as possible of the ships he had sent away. 
But Osgod, taking with him his wife whom he had left for 
safety at Bruges, returned to Denmark with six shi])s ; the 
rest sailed over to Essex, and returned with no small ])lunder, 
which they carried off from the neighbourhood of Eadulf's 
Ness f however, a violent tempest overtook and sunk all except 
two, which were captured at sea, and all on board perislied. 

During these occurrences earl Sweyn went to Pevensey, 
and perfidiously requested earl Beorn, his cousin, to go with 
him to the port of Sandwich, and make his peace with the 
king, according to promise. Beorn, relying on his relation- 
ship, accompanied him with only three attendants ; but 
Sweyn conducted him to Bosham, where his ships lay, and, 
taking him on board one of them, ordered him to be bound 
with thongs, and kept him on board until they reached the 
mouth of the river Dart. There they slew him, and threw 
him into a deep trench, and covered him with earth. They 
then sent away six of the ships, two of which were soon after- 
wards taken by the men of Hastings, who, having killed all 
on board, carried them to Sandwich and presented them to 
the king. Sweyn, however, escaped to Flanders with two 
ships, and remained there until he was brought back by 
Aldred, bishop of Worcester, who reconciled him with the king. 

In the month of August of the same year, some Irish 
j)irates, entering the moutii of the river Severn with thirty- 
six ships, landed at a place called Wylesc-Eaxan, and, with 
the aid of Griffyth, king of South-Wales, plundered in that 
neighbourhood, and did considerable damage. Then, joining 
their forces, the king and the pirates crossed the river Wye and 
burnt Dymedham, massacring all they found there. Aldred, 
))ishop of Worcester, with a few of the peoj)le of Gloucester- 
shire and Herefordshire, flew to arms against them ; but the 
Welshmen who were in their ranks, and had promised to be 
faithful to them, sent a messenger privately to king Griftyth, 
begging him to lose no time in attacking the English ; in 
consequence of which he hastened to the spot with his own 
followers and the Irish pirates, and falling on the Enghsh be- 
fore day-break, slew many of them and put the rest to flight. 

' A village on the coast of Flanders, N.W. of Sluys. 
^ Neas, a promontory. 

loO FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1050, lOol. 

Eadnoth, bishop of Dorchester, died, and was succeeded by 
Ulf, the king's chaplain, a native of Normandy. Oswy, abbot 
of Thorney, and Wulfnoth, abbot of Westminster, died; also 
Siward, coadjutor-bishop of Eadsige, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and he was buried at Abingdon. Moreover, in this 
year pope St. Leo came to France, at the request of the most 
excellent abbot Herimar, having in his company the .prefect 
and some of the principal persons of Rome, and dedicated 
with great ceremony the monastery of St. Remigius, the 
apostle of the Franks, built at Rheims, in which city he 
afterwards held a numerous synod of archbishops, bishops, 
and abbots, which lasted six days. There were present at 
this synod Alfwine, abbot of Ramsey, and the abbot of St. 
Augustine's monastery [at Canterbury], who were sent there 
by Edward, king of England. 

[a.D. 1050.] Macbeth, king of Scotland, distributed freely 
large sums of money at Rome. Eadsige, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, died, and was succeeded by Robert, bishop of London, 
a Norman by birth. Spearheafoe, abbot of Abingdon, was 
elected bishop of London, but was ejected by king . Edward 
before consecration. Heriman, bishop of Wilton, and Aldred, 
bishop of Worcester, went to Rome. 

[a.D. 1051.] OElfric, archbishop of York, died at South- 
well, and was buried at Peterborough ; Kinsige, the king's 
chaplain, succeeded him. King Edward released the English 
from the heavy tax payable to the Danish troops, in the 
thirty-eighth year after his father Ethelred had first imposed 
it. After this, in the month of September, Eustace the elder, 
count of Boulogne, who had married a sister of king Edward, 
named Goda, sailed to Dover with a small fleet.^ His soldiers, 
while they were bluntly and indiscreetly inquiring for lodg- 
ings, killed one of the townsmen. A neighbour of his wit- 
nessing this, slew one of the soldiers in revenge. At this the 
count and his followers were much enraged, and put many 
men and women to the sword, trampling their babes and 
children under their horses' hoofs. But seeing the townsmen 
flocking together to re^st them, they made their escape, Uke 
cowards, with some difficulty, and leaving seven of their num- 
ber slain, they fled to king Edward, who was then at Glou- 
cester. Earl Godwin, being indignant that such things should 

' Cf. Sax. Cliron. under the years 1048 and 1052. 



bo done within his jurisdiction, in grout wrath raised nn 
inimonse army from the whole of his earldom, that is, from 
Kent, Sussex, and Wessex ; his eldest son, Sweyn, also 
a.ssemblod the men of his earldom, that is, of the counties of 
Oxford, Gloucester, Hereford, Somerset, and Berks ; and his 
other son, Harold, assembled the men of his earldom, namely, 
Essex, East-Anglia, Huntingdon, and Cambridge. This did 
not escape the notice of king Edward, and he therefore sent 
messages to Leofric, earl of Mercia, and Siward, earl of 
Northumbria, besririnG: them to hasten to him with all the 
men they could muster, as he was in great peril. They came 
at first with only a few followers ; but when they learnt the 
real state of aftairs, they sent swift messengers throughout 
their earldoms and gathered a large army. Likewise earl 
Ralph, son of Goda, king Edward's sister, assembled as many 
as he could from his county. 

Meanwhile, Godwin and his sons, with their respective 
armies, entered Gloucestershire after the feast of the nativity 
of St. Mary [8th September], and encamping at a place called 
Langtreo, sent envoys to the king at Gloucester, demanding 
the surrender of count Eustace and his followers, as well as 
of the Normans and men of Boulogne, who were in possession 
of the castle on the cliff at Dover, on pain of hostilities. The 
king, alarmed for a time at this message, was in great distress, 
and in the utmost perplexity what to do. But when he found 
that the troo])s of the earls Leofric, Siward, and Balph were 
on their march, he replied with firnmess that he would by no 
means consent to give up Eustace and the rest who were 
demanded. On hearing this, the envovs returned from their 
})ootless errand. As they Avere departing, the army entered 
Gloucester, so exasperated, and unanimously ready to fight, 
that, if the king had given permission, they would have in- 
stantly engaged earl Godwin's army. But earl Leofric con- 
sidering that all the men of greatest note in England were 
assembled either on his side or the other, it ap])eared to him and 
some others a great folly to figlit with their own countrymen, 
and he proposed tiiat, hostages having been given by both 
parties, the king and Godwin should meet at London on a day 
appointed, and settle their controversy in a legal way. This 
a<lvice being api)roved, and after the exchange of messages, 
hostages having been given and received, the earl returned 

152 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1051, 1052. 

into Wessex ; and the king assembled a more powerful army 
from the whole of Mercia and Northumbria, and led it to 
London. Meanwhile, Godwin and his sons came to South- 
wark with a vast multitude of the people of Wessex; but his 
army gradually dwindling away and deserting him, he did 
not venture to abide the judgment of the king's court, but 
fled, under cover of night. When, therefore, the morning came, 
the king, in his witan, with the unanimous consent of the 
whole army, made a decree that Grodwin and his five sons 
should be banished. Thereupon he and his wife Githa, and 
Tosti and his wife Judith, the daughter of Baldwin, count of 
Flanders, and two of his other sons, namely, Sweyn and 
Gurth, went, without loss of time, to Thorney, where a ship 
had been got ready for them. They quickly laded her with 
as much gold, silver, and other valuable articles as she could 
hold, and, embarking in great haste, directed her course 
towards Flanders and Baldwin the count. His sons Harold 
and Leofwine, making their way to Brycgstowe [Bristol], 
went on board a ship which their brother Sweyn had pre- 
pared for them, and crossed over to Ireland. The king repu- 
diated the queen Edgitha, on account of his wrath against 
her father Godwin, and sent her in disgrace, with only a 
single handmaid, to Wherwell, where she was committed to 
the custody of the abbess.^ 

After these occurrences, William, earl [duke] of Normandy, 
came over to England with a vast retinue of Normans. King- 
Edward honourably entertained him and his companions, and 
on their return made them many valuable presents. The 
same year, William, the king's chaplain, was appointed to the 
bishopric of London, which was before given to Spearheafoc. 

[a.D. 1052.] Marianus, the chronicler, departed this life. 

Elfgiva Emma, wife of the kings Ethelred and Canute, 
died at Winchester on the second of the nones [the 6thJ of 
March, and was buried there. In the same year, Grifiyth, 
king of Wales, ravaged a great part of Herefordshire : the 
inhabitants of that province, with some Normans from a 
castle, flew to arms and attacked him ; but, having slain 
a great number of them, he obtained the victory and carried 
off* much plunder. This battle was fought on the same day 

* She was a sister of the king. 

A.D. 1052.] Godwin's successes. 153 

on which, fourteen years before, the Welsh slow Edwin, earl 
Leofrie's brother, in an ambuscade. A short time afterwards, 
earl Harold and his brother Leofwine, returning from Ireland, 
and sailing into the mouth of the river Severn with a large 
fleet, landed on the borders of Somersetshire and Dorsetshire, 
and plundered many villages and farms in those ])arts. A great 
number of the peoi)le of Devonshire and Somersetshire gathered 
together in arms against them ; but Harold defeated them with 
the loss of more than thirty noble thanes, and many others. 
He then returned to his fleet with the booty, and sailed 
round Penwithsteort.^ Thereupon, king Ed\vard quickly de- 
spatched forty ships, well provisioned, and having on board 
a chosen body of soldiers, to the port of Sandwich, with 
orders to wait and look out for the arrival of earl Godwin. 
IVotwithstanding this, he escaped observation, and, returning 
with a few ships, landed in Kent ; and, by his secret emis- 
saries, gained over to espouse his cause, first, the Kentishmen, 
and then the people of Sussex, Essex, and Surrey, with all the 
boatmen'^ of Hastings and other ]>laces on the sea-coast, be- 
sides some others. All these, with one voice, declared that 
they were ready to live or die with him. 

As soon as his arrival was known in the king's fleet, which 
lay at Sandwich, it went in chase of him ; but he escaped 
and concealed himself wherever he could, and the fleet re- 
turned to Sandwich, and thence sailed to London. On hear- 
ing this, Godwin shaped his course again for the Isle of 
Wight, and ke})t hovering about along the shore until his sons 
Harold and Leofwine joined him with their fleet. After this 
junction, they desisted from plundering and wasting the 
country, taking only such provisions as necessity required 
for the subsistence of their troops. Having increased their 
force by enlisting as many men as they could on the sea- 
coast and in other places, and by collecting all the mariners 
they met with in every direction, they directed their course 
towards the ])ort of Sandwich. Their arrival there was 
notified to king Edward, who was then at London, and he 
lost no. time sending messengers requiring all persons, who 
had not revolted from him, to hasten to his succour ; but they 

' Penv):th.Steort—tho Land's End. 

^ linti^errirles — Boats-carlos. Our author uses the word again, a 
few sentences later, in the general sense of mariners, seamen. 

154: FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1052. 

were too slow in tlieir movements, and did not arrive in time. 
Meanwhile, earl Godwin, having sailed up the Thames against 
the current, reached Southwark on the day of the Exaltation 
of the Holy Cross [14th September], being Monday, and 
waited there until the flood-tide came up. In the interval, he 
so dealt with the citizens of London, some in person, others 
through his emissaries, having before seduced them by a 
variety of promises, that he persuaded nearly all of them to 
enter heartily into his designs. At last, everything being 
duly planned and set in order, on the tide's flowing up they 
quickly weighed anchor, and, no one offering them any resist- 
ance at the bridge, sailed upwards along the south bank of 
the river. The land army also arrived, and, being drawn up 
on the river-bank, formed a close and formidable column. 
Then the fleet drew towards the northern bank, with the 
intention, apparently, of enclosing the king's fleet, for the 
king had also a fleet, as well as a numerous land army. But 
as there were very few men of any courage, either on the 
king's or Godwin's side, who were not Englishmen, nearly all 
shrunk from fighting against their kinsfolk and countrymen ; 
so that the wiser sort on both sides interfered to restore 
peace between the king and the earl, and both armies re- 
ceived orders to lay down their arms. 1 he next morning 
the king held a council, and fully restored to their former 
honours Godwin, and his wife, and all his sons, except Sweyn, 
who, touched with repentance for the murder of his cousin 
Beorn, mentioned before, had undertaken a journey barefoot 
from Flanders to Jerusalem, and who, on his return, died in 
Lycia^ from illness brought on by the severity of the cold. 
The king, also, took back with due honour queen Edgitha, 
the earl's daughter, and restored her to her former dignity. 

The alliance being renewed, and peace established, they 
promised right law to all the people, and banished all the 
Normans, who had introduced unjust laws and given un- 
righteous judgments, and in many things had influenced the 
king to the disadvantage of his English subjects. A few 
of them only were allowed to stay in England, namely, 
Robert the deacon, and his son-in-law Richard Eitz-Scrope, 

' According to the Saxon Chronicle, Sweyn died at Constantinople 
on his journey home. Malmesbur}' relates that he was slain by the 

A.D. 1052, 1053.] THE NORMANS BANISHED. loO 

Alfred, tlie king's horse-thane, Anfrid, surnamed Coek's-foot, 
with some others who had been the king's greatest favourites, 
and had remained faitliful to him and tlie commonwealth. But 
Robert, archbishop of Canterbury, William, bishop of London, 
and Ulf, bishop of Lincoln, with their Normans, had some 
difficulty in making their escape and getting beyond sea. 
William, however, was, for his worth, soon afterwards re- 
called and reinstated in his bishopric. Osbern, surnamed 
Pentecost, and his companion Hugh, surrendered their castles ; 
and, being allowed by earl Leofric to pass through his terri- 
tories in their way to Scotland, received a welcome from 
Macbeth, king of the Scots. The same year there was such 
a violent wind in the night of the feast of St. Thomas the 
apostle [the l?lst December], that it threw down many 
churches and houses, and shattered or tore up by the roots 
trees without number. 

[a.d. 1053.] Rhys, the brother of GrifFyth, king of South 
Wales, was put to death by order of king Edward at a place 
called Bullington, on account of the plundering inroads he 
had frequently made, and his head was brought to the king at 
Gloucester on the eve of our Lord's Epiphany [5th January], 
In the same year, on the second day of tlie festival of Easter 
[12th April], which was celebrated at Winchester, earl God- 
win came to his end while he was sitting at table with the 
king, according to his usual custom ; for, being suddenly 
seized with a violent illness, he fell speechless from his seat. 
His sons, earl Harold, Tosti, and Gurth, perceiving it, carried 
him into the king's chamber, hoping tliat he would presently 
recover ; but his strength failing, he died in great suffering 
on the fifth day afterwards [15th April], and was buried in 
tl)c Old Minster. His son Harold succeeded to his earldom, 
and Harold's earldom was given to Algar, son of earl 

In the month of October died Wulfsige, bishop of Litch- 
field, Godwin, abbot of Winchcombe, and Ethelward, abbot 
of Cilastonbury. Leofwine, abbot of Coventry, succeeded 
Wulfsige ; and Ethelnoth, a monk of the same monastery, 
succeeded Ethelward. Rut A hired, bishop of Worcester, kept 
tlie abbey of Winchcombe in his own hands until such time as 
he appointed Godric, the son of Goodman, the king's chaplain, 
to be abbot. Jilfric, brother of earl Odda, died at Deerhurst 

156 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1054, 1055. 

on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd December], 
but he was buried in the monastery at Pershore. 

Aed, a-long-bearded clerk in Ireland, a man of great emi- 
nence and earnest piety, had a large school of clerks, maidens, 
and laymen ; but he subjected the maidens to the tonsure in 
the same manner as clerks, on which account he was compelled 
to leave Ireland. 

[a.D. 1054.] Siward, the stout earl of Northumbria,^ by 
order of the king entered Scotland, with a large body of 
cavalry and a ])owerful fleet, and fought a battle with 
Macbeth, king of the Scots, in which the king was defeated 
with the loss of many thousands both of the Scots and of the 
Normans before mentioned ; he then, as the king had com- 
manded, raised to the throne Malcolm, son of the king of the 
Cumbrians. However, his own son and many English and 
Danes fell in that battle. 

The same year, on the feast of St. Kenelm, the martyr, 
[17th July], Aldred, bishop of Worcester, instituted Godric 
as abbot of Winchcombe. The bishop was then sent by the 
king as ambassador to the emperor, witli rich presents ; and 
being received with great honour by him, and also by Heri- 
man, archbishop of Cologne, he remained at his court for a 
whole year, and in the king's name proposed to the emperor 
to send envoys to Hungary to bring back Edward, the king's 
cousin, son of king Edmund Ironside, and have him con- 
ducted to England. 

[a.D. 1055.] Siward, earl of Northumberland, died at 
York, and was buried in the monastery at Galmanho,^ which 
he had himself founded : his earldom was given to Tosti, earl 
Harold's brother. Shortly afterwards, king Edward, in a 
council held at London, banished earl Algar, earl Leofric's 
son, without any just cause of offence. Algar presently went 
to Ireland, and having collected eighteen pirate ships, returned 
with them to Wales, where he implored Griffyth the king to 
lend him his aid against king Edward. Griffyth immediately 
assembled a numerous army from all parts of his dominions^ 

* Henry of Huntingdon tells us that Siward employed his son in 
this expedition, in which he fell. See that historian's account of the 
manner in which Siward received the intelligence, and of the circum- 
stance attending his own death, pp. 204, 205, Ant^q. Lib. 

^ An abbey at York, afterwards restored, and called St. Mary's. 

A.D. 1055.] HEREFORD STORMED. 157 

and directed Algar to join him and his army at a place ap- 
j)ointed with liis own troops ; and having united their forces 
they entered Herefordshire, intending to hiy waste the English 

Earl Ral[)h, the cowardly son of king Edward's sister, 
having assembled an army, fell in with the enemy two miles 
from the city of Hereford, on the ninth of the calends of 
November [24th October]. He ordered the English, con- 
trary to their custom, to fight on horseback ; but just as the 
engagement was about to commence, the earl, with his French 
and Normans, were the first to flee. The English seeing 
this, followed their leader's example, and nearly tlie whole of 
the enemy's army going in pursuit, four or five hundred of the 
fugitives were killed, and many were wounded. Having 
gained the victory, king Griftyth and earl Algar entered 
Hereford, and having slain seven of the canons who defended 
the doors of the principal church, and burnt the monastery 
built by bishop Athelstan, that true servant of Christ, with 
all its ornaments, and the relics of St. Ethelbert, king and 
martyr, and other saints, and having slain some of the citizens, 
and made many other captives, they returned laden with 

On receiving intelligence of this calamity, the king imme- 
diately commanded an army to be levied from every part of 
England, and on its being assembled at Gloucester, gave the 
command of it to the brave earl Harold, who, zealously 
obeying the king's orders, was unwearied in his pursuit of 
GrifTyth and Algar, and boldly crossing the Welsh border, 
encamped beyond Straddell [Snowdon] ; but they knowing 
him to be an intrepid and daring warrior, did not venture to 
wait his attack, but retreated into South Wales. On learning 
this, he left there the greatest part of his army, with orders to 
make a stout resistance to the enemy if circumstances should 
require it ; and returning with the remainder of his host to 
Hereford, he surrounded it with a wide and deep trench, and 
fortified it with gates and bars. Meanwhile, after an inter- 
cliange of messages, Grifiyth, Algar, and Harold, with their 
attendants, met at a place called Biligesteagea, and peace being 
proposed and accepted, they contracted a firm alliance with 
each other. After these events, earl Algar's fleet [of pirates] 
sailed to Chester, and waited there for the hire he had en- 

158 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1055, 1056. 

gaged to pay them ; but he himself went to court and M'^as 
restored by the king to his earldom. At that time died 
Tremerin, a Welsh bishop/ who had been a monk. He was, 
for a long time, coadjutor to Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, 
after Athelstan became incapable of performing his episcopal 
functions, having been blind for thirteen years. Heriman, 
bishop of Wiltshire, being offended at the king's refusing to 
allow him to remove the seat of his bishopric from the vill 
called Ramsbury to the abbey of Malmesbury, resigned his 
bishopric and, going beyond sea, took the monastic habit 
at St. Bertin,^ in which monastery he abode for three years. 

[a.D. 1056.] Athelstan, bishop of Hereford, a man of great 
sanctity, died on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of February, 
at the episcopal vill called Bosbury ; his body was carried 
to Hereford, and buried in the church which he himself had 
built from the foundations. He was succeeded by Leovegar, 
earl Harold's chaplain, who, on the sixteenth of the calends 
[the 16th] of June in the same year, together with his clerks 
and Ethelnoth the vice-reeve and many others, was massacred 
by Grriffyth, king of Wales, at a place called Claftbyrig 
[Cleobury?]. He held the see only eleven weeks and four 
days. On his being thus cut off, the bishopric of Hereford 
was administered by Aldred, bishop of Worcester, until a 
successor could be appointed. This same bisliop Aldred and 
the earls Leofric and Harold afterwards reconciled Griflyth, 
king of Wales, with king Edward. 

Marianus, becoming a pilgrim for the sake of his heavenly 
country, went to Cologne and took the habit of a monk in 
the monastery of St. Martin, belonging to the Scots, on 
Thursday, which was the calends [the 1st] of August. 

Earl Ethelwin, that is Odda,^ the friend of the churches, 
the solace of the poor, the protector of widows and orphans, 
the enemy of oppression, the shield of virginity, died at 
Deerhurst on the second of the calends of September 
[•31st August], having been made a monk by Aldred, 
bishop of Worcester, before his death; but he lies in the 
abbey of Pershore, where he was buried with great pomp, 
^thelric, bishop of Durham, voluntarily resigned his see and 

' Bishop of St. David's. 

^ The abbey of St. Bertin, at St. Omer. 

^ Odda, earl of Devon. 

A. D. 1056,1057.] EDWARD ETHELING RETCRXS. 159 

retired to his monastery of Peterborough, wliere he had been 
brought up and made a monk ; and there he lived twelve 
years, having been succeeded in his bishopric by liis brother, 
jEifelwin, a monk of the same abbey. 

[a.d. 1057.] Edward the etheHng, son of king Edmund 
Ironside, accepting the invitation of his uncle, king Edward, 
returned to England from Hungary, where he had been 
exiled many years before. . For the king had determined to 
appoint him his successor and heir to the crown ;^ but he died 
at London soon after his arrival. Tiie renowned Leofrio, son 
of the ealdorman Leofwine, of blessed memory, died in a good 
old age, at his own vill of Bromley, on the second of the 
calends of September [31st August], and was buried with 
great pomp ut Coventry; which monastery, among the other 
good deeds of his life, he and his wife, the noble countess 
Godiva, a worshipper of God, and devoted friend of St. Mary, 
Ever-a- Virgin, liad founded, and amply endowing it with lands 
on their own patrimony, had so enriched with all kinds of orna- 
ment, that no monastery could be found in England possessed 
of such abundance of gold, silver, jewels, and precious stones 
as it contained at that time. They also enriched, with 
valuable ornaments, the monasteries of Leominster and 
Wenlock, and tliose at Chester dedicated to St. John the 
Baptist and St. Werburgh, the virgin, and the church which 
Eadnoth, bishop of Lincoln, had built on a remarkable spot, 
called in English St. Mary's Stow,^ which means in Latin St. 
Mary's place. They also gave lands to the monastery at 
Worcester, and added to the buildings, ornaments, and endow- 
ments of Evesham abbey. During his whole life, this earl's 
sagacity was of the utmost advantage to the kings and the 
wliole commonwealth of England. His son Algar was 
a])pointed to his earldom. Hakon, bishop of Essex, died, and 
^Ethelric, a monk of Christ-church at Canterbuiy, was ap- 
pointed in his stead. The afore-mentioned earl lialph died 

' Sco a brief notice of the conflicting accounts of the chroniclers on 
this controverted question in Ordericus Vitalis, vol. i., page 450, 
Buhiis Atififj. Lib. 

* Henry of Huntingdon describes it as "under the hill at Lin- 
coln ;" but Hishop Farmer says that "Stowe was in the bishop's manor 
by Trent side." The prior} of Stowe, or Mary-Stowe, was annexed 
to Eynshain abbey, in Oxfordshire. 

160 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 1058, 1059, | 

on the twelfth of the calends of January [21st December], 
and was buried in the abbey of Peterborough. 

[a.D. 1058.] Six days before Palm-Sunday [10th April], 
the city of Paderborn, and two monasteries, that of the 
cathedral and that of the monks, w^ere destroyed by fire. 
In the monks' monastery there was a Scottish monk named 
Paternus, who had been in the cloister for a great number of 
years, and had foretold this fire ; yet such was his desire of 
martyrdom that nothing could induce him to leave the place, 
and he was burnt to death in his cell, passing through the 
flames to the cool refreshment of paradise. Some blessed 
things are related concerning his tomb. " Within a few days 
after this occurrence, on the Tuesday after the octave of Easter 
[26th of April], as I was departing from Cologne on the road 
to Fulda in company with the abbot of Fulda, for the sake of 
seclusion, prayed on the very mat on which he was burnt." 
Thus saith Marianus, the Scottish recluse. 

Algar, earl of Mercia, was outlawed by king Edward for 
the second time, but, supported by GrifFyth, king of Wales, 
and aided by a Norwegian fleet, which unexpectedly came to 
his relief, he speedily recovered his earldom by force of arms. 
Pope Stephen died on the third of the calends of April 
[30th March]. He was succeeded by Benedict, who sent the 
palUum to Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, ^thelric was 
ordained bishop of Sussex; and abbot Siward was consecrated 
bishop of Rochester. Aldred, bishop of Worcester, dedicated 
with great ceremony to Peter, prince of the apostles, tlie 
church which he had built from the foundations in the city of 
Worcester, and afterwards, with the king's license, appointed 
Wulfstan, a monk of Worcester, ordained by him, abbot of 
the new foundation. Then, having resigned the bishopric of 
Wilton, which he held in commendam, and restored it to 
Heriman, before mentioned, he crossed the sea, and went 
through Hungary to Jerusalem ; a pilgrimage which no 
English archbishop or bishop is known to have performed 

[a.D. 1059.] Nicholas, bishop of Florence, was elected 
pope, and Benedict was deposed. Marianus having shut 
himself up in the cloister Avith Sigefrid, abbot of Fulda, was 
ordained priest at the tomb of St. Kilian, at Wurtzburg, on 
Saturday in Mid-Lent, the third of the ides [the 13th] of 


March, and on Friday after Our Lord's Ascension, being the 
day before the ides [the 14th] of May, lie entered on his ten 
years' inclosure in the abbey of Fulda. 

[a.d. lOGO.] Henry, king of the Franks, died, and was 
succeeded by his eldest son Philip. Duduc, bishop of Wells, 
died, and Avas succeeded by Giso, the king's chaplain ; they 
were both natives of Lorraine. Kinsi, archbishop of York, 
died at York on the eleventh of the calends of January [22nd 
December]. His body was carried to the abbey of Peter- 
borough, and buned there with great pomp. Aldred, 
bishop of Worcester, was elected his successor as archbishop 
of York at Christmas ; and the see of Hereford, which had 
been intrusted to his administration on account of his great 
diligence, was given to Waiter, a Lorrainer, and chaplain to 
queen Edgitha. 

[a.d. 1061.] Aldred, archbishop of York, went to Ptome 
in company with earl Tosti, and received the pallium from 
pope Nicholas. There, also, Giso of Wells, and Walter of 
Hereford, were consecrated bishops by the same pope. Until 
John, the successor of Giso, all the bishops of Wells had their 
episcopal see at Wells, in the church of St. Andrew the 
A])ostle. Maiolus, abbot of the Scots, died at Cologne; 
Foilan succeeded him. 

[ad. 10G2.] Wulfstan,^ a venerable man, was made; bishop 
of Worcester. This prelate, beloved of God, was born in 
Warwickshire, in the province of Mercia, of pious parents; 
his fiither's name being Ealstan, and his mother's Wulfgeova, 
but he was well instructed in letters and ecclesiastical func- 
tions at the monastery of Peterborough. Both his parents 
were so devoted to a religious life, that long before their end, 
they took the vows of chastity, and separated from each 
other, delighting to spend the rest of their days in habits of 
lioly devotion. Inspired by such examples, and chiefly in- 
duced by his mother's persuasions, he quitted the world 
while he was yet in his youth, and took the monastic habit 
and i)rofession in the same monastery at Worcester where 

' Our author, who has alrf.-ady, on several occasions, given fuller 
particulars than other chroniclers of events connected with the 
counties of Worcester and Hereford, here furnishes us very naturally 
witli an account of the life and character of Wulfstan, the celebrated 
bishop of Worcester, afterwards archbishop of York. 



his father had before devoted himself to the service of Grod, 
being admitted by the venerable Brihteag, bishop of the same 
church, who also conferred upon him the orders both of 
deacon and priest. Entering at once on a strict and deeply 
religious course of life, he quickly became remarkable for 
his vigils, his fastings, his prayers, and all kinds of virtues. 
In consequence of this regular discipline, he was appointed, 
first, for some time, master and tutor of the novices, and 
afterwards, from his intimate acquaintance with the eccle- 
siastical services, his superiors nominated him precentor and 
treasurer of the church. 

Being now intrusted with the custody of the church, he 
embraced the opportunities afforded him of serving God with 
greater freedom ; and, devoting himself wholly to a life of 
contemplation, he resorted to it by day and night, either for 
prayer or holy reading, and assiduously mortified his body by 
fasting for two or three days together. He was so addicted 
to devout vigils, that he not only spent the nights sleepless, 
but often the day and night together, and sometimes went for 
four days and nights without sleep, — a thing we could hardly 
have believed, if we had not heard it from his ow^n mouth, — 
so that he ran great risk from his brains being parched, unless 
he hastened to satisfy the demands of nature by the refresh- 
ment of sleep. Even, at last, when the urgent claims of 
nature compelled him to yield to sleep, he did not indulge 
himself by stretching his limbs to rest on a bed or couch, but 
would lie down for awhile on one of the benches in the 
church, resting his head on the book which he had used for 
praying or reading. After some time, on the death of JEthel- 
wine, prior of the monastery, bishop Aldred appointed this 
reverend man to be prior and father of the convent, an office 
which he worthily filled ; by no means abating the strictness 
of his previous habits, but rather increasing it in many 
respects, in order to afford a good example to the rest. 

After the lapse of some years, on the elevation of Aldred, 
bishop of Worcester, to the archbishopric of York, there was 
unanimous consent both of the clergy and the whole body 
of the laity [of Worcester] in the election of Wulfstan as 
their bishop; the king having granted them permission tc 
choose whom they pleased. It so chanced that the legates 
from the apostolical see were present at the election, namely, 


Ernicnfrcd, bishop of Sion,^ and another, who wore sent by 
our lord the pope Alexander to king Edward on some eccle- 
siastical questions, and by the king's orders spent nearly the 
whole of Lent at Worcester, waiting for the reply to their 
mission at the king's court in the ensuing Easter. The 
legates, during their stay, observing Wulfstan*s worthy con- 
versation, not only concurred in his election, but used their 
especial influence with both the clergy and people to advance 
it, and confirmed it by their own authority. But he most 
obstinately declined the oflHce, exclaiming that he was un- 
worthy of it, and even declaring with an oath that he would 
rather submit to lose his head than be advanced to so high a 
dignity. When he could by no means be persuaded to consent 
by the arguments frequently addressed to him by many pious 
and venerable men, at last being sharply reproved for his 
obstinate wilfulness by Wulfsi the liermit, a man of God, 
who was known to have lived a life of solitude for more 
than forty years, and being also awed by a divine revelation, 
he was compelled, with the greatest reluctance, to give his 
consent ; and his election having been canonieally confirmed 
on the feast of the Decollation of St. Jolin the Baptist [29th 
August], and having accepted the oflfice of bishop, he was 
consecrated on the day on which St. Mary's Nativity is cele- 
brated })y the church, which happened on a Sunday, and 
shone forth in the splendour of his life and virtues as bishop 
of Worcester. The consecration was performed by the 
venerable Aldred, archbishop of York, Stigand, archbishop of 
Canterbury, being then interdicted by the pope from perform- 
ing his episcopal functions, because he had presumed to take 
the archi)ishoi)ric while Robert, the archbishop, was still 
living ; but Wulfstan made his canonical profession to Sti- 
gand, the af<jresaid archl)ishop of Canterbury, and not to 
Aldred, who ordained him. Moreover, Stigand having made 
a protest against its being a i)rccedent in future, the arch- 
bishop of York, who ordained Wulfstan, was ordered to declare 
before the king and the great men of the realm, that he 
would not thereafter claim any submission, either in ecclesi- 
astical or temporal affairs, in right of his having consecrated 
him, or of his having been his monk before he was conse- 

' Sedunensem — Of Sedunum, now Sion, the capital of the Valais. 

M 2 

164 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1062, 1063. 

crated. Wulfstan's ordination took place when he was more 
than fifty years old, in the twentieth year of the reign of 
king Edward, and in the fifteenth indiction. 

[a.D. 1063.] When Christmas was over, Harold, the 
brave earl of Wessex, by king Edward's order, put himself 
at the head of a small troop of horse, and proceeded by rapid 
marches from Gloucester, where the king then was, to Rhud- 
dlan,^ with the determination to punish Griffyth, king ol 
Wales, for his continual ravages on the English marshes, anc 
his many insults to his lord, king Edward, by taking his life 
But GrifFyth, being forewarned of the earl's approach, flee 
with his attendants, and escaped by getting aboard a ship 
but not without extreme difficulty. Harold, finding he wa; 
gone, ordered his palace to be burnt, and setting fire to hi^ 
ships and all their rigging, began his march homeward th( 
same day. But about liogation days [20 May] he sailed fron 
Bristol with a naval force, and circumnavigated a great par; 
of Wales. His brother met him, by the king's command, witl 
a body of cavalry, and uniting their forces, they began to la;* 
waste that part of the country. In consequence, the Welsl 
were reduced to submission, and, giving hostages, engaged U 
pay him tribute, and they deposed and banished their kino- 

[a.D. 1064.] The great paschal cycle now begins, in th 
second indiction. A multitude of people, both rich and pooi 
to the number of seven thousand, accompanied the archbisho] 
of- Mentz, and the bishops of Utrecht, Bamberg, and Ratit 
bon, in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem,^ after the feast of Sr 
Martin [11th November]. Wherever the bishops made any stiv, 
they wore their palls on their shoulders, and their meat an; 
drink was served in gold and silver vessels. The Arabitt 
[Arabs ?], allured by the fame of their wealth, slew many c 
them on Good-Friday [9th April]. Those who were able t 
escape took refuge in a deserted castle called Caruasalim,^ an 

^ A strong castle in Flintshire. See the note to Ordericus Vitali 
vol. ii., pp. 444, 445, ArUiq. Lib. 

^ The account here extracted from Marianus of a pilgrimage t 
Jerusalem, just before the Crusades, is so curious, that althouj;h it 
omitted in the English Historical Society's edition of " Florence 
Worcester," we have thought it right to insert it in our text. 

^ This word sounds very like Jerusalem, near which the legend < 
palmer's tale, which evidently furnished this entry in the Chronic! 
supposes the pilgrims to have arrived. 


barricadoing it, defended themselves witli stones and staves 
against the darts of the Arabites, who sought tlieir money, or 
tlieir lives and tlieir money. Then one very brave soldier, 
who was resolved that no peril should withhold liim from see- 
ing tlie tomb of our Lord, went forth ; but the Arabs imme- 
diately laid hold of him, and stretching him flat on the ground, 
in tlie form of a cross, nailed his liands and feet to the earth, 
and cutting him open from the bottom of his belly to his 
throat, examined his entrails.^ At last, having torn him lim.b 
from limb, their chief first threw a stone upon him, and after- 
wards all the rest did the like. Then they called to his 
comrades, who beheld all this from the castle : — " Your fate 
shall be the same, unless you deliver to us all your wealth." 
The Christians promising to comply, the chief of the Arabites 
came into the castle to them, with sixteen others armed with 
swords. The chief found the bishops still seated in great 
state, and observing that the bishop of Bamberg, whose name 
was Gunther, excelled the rest in stature and shape, con- 
cluded that he was the lord of the Christians. Putting a 
thong round the bishop's neck, in the way the Gentiles contine 
their criminals, he said, " You and all yours shall be mine." 
The bishop rei)lied, through an interpreter, " What will you 
do to me ?" He answered, " I will suck that bright blood 
from your throat, and I will hang you up like a dog before 
the castle." Then the bishop, seizing the chief by the head, 
felled him to the ground with one blow of his fist, and all the 
others were ])Ound. Those who remained without beins: in- 
formed of this assaulted the castle ; but the prisoners were 
suspended from the walls in front of the assailants, and 
to save them, the attack was given up. Then the thieves 
began to quarrel concerning the money which they had already 
taken from the Christians, and most of them fell by each 
others' hands. Meanwhile, the jirince of Ramula, at the 
entreaty of those of the Christians who had contrived to escape, 

' In soarch of money? A cotemporary writer says, "The cruelty 
of the infidels was carried to sueh a pitch, that, thinkinp: the wretciies 
[Cxhristians] had swallowed J^old or silver, they made tliem drink 
nraui^hts of scamony till they vomited, or even threw up their 
vitals. Not only so, but, shockin;^ to say, they cut open their bellies, 
and tearing; out their entrails, laid bare; all the parts which nature 
holds private." — Abbot GaiberCs Gcsta, Dei per Francos, p. 379. 

166 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1064, 1065. 

came with a strong band, on the second day of Easter [12th 
April], and drove away the Arabites. Then, after accepting 
fifty gold pieces from the Christians, he and an Arabite chief 
who was at variance with his lord, the king of the Saracens, 
conducted the pilgrims to Jerusalem, and thence to their ships. 
The vast multitude of Christians so wasted away, that out of 
seven thousand or more, barely two thousand returned. 

[a.D. 1061 ] GrifFyth, king of Wales, was slain by his 
own people, on the nones [the 5th] of August, and his head 
and the beak of his ship, with its ornaments, were sent to 
earl Harold, who, shortly afterwards, presented them to king 
Edward. The king then gave the territories of the Welsh 
king to his brothers Blethgent and Kithwalon,^ and they 
swore to be faithful to him and Harold, and promised to be 
ready to obey their orders by sea and land, and that they 
would faithfully pay whatever was paid before from that 
country to former kings. 

[a.D. 1065.] JEthelwin, the reverend bishop of Durham, 
raised the bones of St. Oswin, formerly king of Bernicia, from 
the tomb in which they had lain for four hundred and fifteen 
years, in the monastery which stands at the mouth of the river 
Tyne, and placed them in a shrine with great ceremony. In 
the month of August, Harold, the brave earl of Wessex, 
ordered a large mansion to be built at a place called Portascith,^ 
on the territory of the Welsh, and gave directions that it 
should be well stored with meat and drink, that his lord, king 
Edward, might sometimes reside there for the sake of hunt- 
ing. But Caradoc, son of GrifFyth, king of South Wales, who 
a few years before had slain GrrifFyth, king of North Wales, 
and usurped his kingdom, came there with the whole force he 
could gather, on the feast-day of St. Bartholomew, the apostle 
[24th August], and slew all the workmen and their overseers, 
and carried off all the materials which had been collected there. 

Soon after the feast of St. Michael, the archangel, on 
Monday, the fifth of the nones [the 3rd] of October, the 
Northumbrian thanes, Gamelbearn, Dunstan, son of Athel- 
neth, and Glonicorn, son of Heardulf, entered York with 

' Blethyn and Rhywallou, princes of North Wales and Powis, 

•^ Portskewet, on the coast of Monmouthshire, where there are some 
relics of a church supposed to have been built by Harold. 


two hundred soldiers, to revenge tae execrable murder of the 
noble Northumbrian thane, Cospatric, who was treacherously 
killed by order of queen Edgitha at the king's court on the 
fourth night of Christmas, for tlie sake of her brother Tosti ; 
as also tlie murder of the thanes Game), the son of Orm, and 
Ulf, the son of Dolfin, whom earl Tosti had perfidiously caused, 
to be assassinated in his own chamber at York, the year be- 
fore, although there was peace between them. The insurgent 
thanes were also aggrieved by the enormous taxes which Tosti 
unjustly levied through the whole of Northumbria. They 
therefore, on the day of their arrival, first seized his Danish 
hus-carles, Amund and Ravenswart, as they were making their 
escape, and put them to death outside the walls, and the next 
day slew more than two hundred of his liege-men, on the 
north side of the river Humber. 'I hey also broke open his 
treasurv, and retired carrvino: off all that belonsred to him. 
After that, nearly all the men of his earldom assembled in a 
body, and met, at Northampton, Harold, earl of Wessex, and 
others whom the king, at Tosti's request, had sent to restore 
peace between them. There first, and afterwards at Oxford, 
on the feast of the apostles St. Simon and St. Jude [28th 
October], when earl Harold and the rest endeavoured to re- 
store peace between them and earl Tosti, they all unanimously 
rejected tlie proposal, and outlawed him and all who had 
prompted him to enact the oppressive law ; and after the feast 
of All-Saints [1st November], with the assistance of earl 
Edwin, they banished Tosti from England. Thereupon he went, 
accompatned by his wife, to Baldwin, earl of Flanders, and 
passed the winter at St. Omer. After this, king Edward fell 
into a lingering sickness, but he held his court at London 
during Christmas as well as he was able, and on Holy Inno- 
cents' day caused the church, which he had built from the 
foundations [at Westminster], to be dedicated with great 
splendour to St. Peter, the prince of the apostles. 

[a.d. lOGG.] King Edward the Pacific, the pride of the 
English, son of king Ethclred, died at London on Thursday, 
the eve of the Epipliany, in the fourth indiction ; after having 
filled the royal throne of the Anglo-Saxons twenty-three 
years, six months, and twenty-seven days. He was buried 
the next day with royal pomp, amidst tlie tears and lamen- 
tations of the crowds who flocked to his funeral. After his 


interment, H&rold, tlie vice-king, son of earl Godwin, 
whom the king before his death had chosen for his successor,^ 
was elected king by the leading men of all England ; and, the 
same day, was crowned with great ceremony by Aldred, 
archbishop of York, As soon as he had taken the reins of 
government, he made it his business to revoke unjust laws, 
and establish good ones ; to become the protector of the 
churches and monasteries ; to cherish and reverence the 
bishops, abbots, monks, and clerks ; and to show himself kind, 
humble, and courteous to all good men, while to malefactors^ 
he used the utmost rigour. For he gave orders to his earls, 
ealdormen, vice-reeves, and all his officers, to arrest all 
thieves, robbers, and disturbers of the peace ; and he 
laboured himself for the defence of the country by land and 
by sea. 

The same year a comet was seen on the eighth of the 
calends of May [24th April], not only in England, but, as it 
is reported, ail over the world : it shone with excessive 
brilliance for seven days. Soon afterwards earl Tosti re- 
turned from Flanders, and landed in the Isle of Wight ; andj 
having compelled the islanders to give him pay and tribute, 
he departed, and plundered along the sea-coast, until he 
arrived at Sandwich. King Harold, who was then at 
London, having been informed of this, ordered a con- 
siderable fleet and a body of horse to be got ready, and pre- 
pared to go in person to the port of Sandwich. On receiving 
this intelligence, Tosti took some of the boatmen of the place, 
Avilling or unwilling, into his service, and, departing thence, 
shaped his course for Lindsey, where he burnt several vills 
and slew a number of men. Thereupon Edwin, earl of 
Mercia, and Morcar, earl of Northumbria, flew to the spot 
with some troops, and drove him out of that neighbourhood ; 
and, on his departure, he repaired to Malcolm, king of the 
Scots, and remained with him during the whole summer. 
MeanAvhile king Harold arrived at the port of Sandwich, and 
waited there for his fleet. When it was assembled, he sailed 
to the Isle of Wight ; and as William, earl of N"ormandy, 
king Edward's cousin, was preparing an army for the invasion 
of England, he kept watch all the summer and autumn, to 

^ See note before, p. 159. 

A.D. 1066.] KING HAROLD. 169 

prevent his landing ; besides which, he stationed a land army 
at suitable points along the sea-coast ; but provisions failing 
towards the time of the feast of the Nati^dty of St. Mary [8th 
September], both the fleet and anny were disbanded. 

After these transactions, Harold Harfaager,^ l^^hig of Nor- 
way, brother of St. Olave the king,^ suddenly arrived at the 
mouth of the river Tyne, with a powerful fleet of more than 
five hundred great ships. Earl Tosti joined him with his 
fleet, as they had before agreed, and they made all sail into 
the Humbor ; and then ascending the river Tyne against the 
current, landed tlieir troops at a place called Eichale. As 
soon as king Harold received this news, he marched with all 
expedition towards Northumbria ; but, before the king's 
arrival, the two brothers, earls Edwin and Morcar, at the 
head of a large army, fought a battle with the Norwegians 
on the northern bank of the river Ouse, near York, on the 
eve of the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle [20th September], 
being Wednesday ; and their first onset was so furious that 
numbers of the enemy fell before it. But, after a long 
struggle, the English, unable to withstand the attack of the 
Norwegians, fled with great loss, and many more of them 
were drowned in the river than slain in the fiofht. The Nor- 
wegians remained in possession of the field of death ; and, 
having taken one hundred and fifty hostages from York, and 
leaving there one hundred and fifty hostages of their own, 
returned to their ships. However, on the fifth day after- 
wards, viz. on Monday, the seventh of the calends of 
October [25tli September], Harold, king of England, having 
reached York, with many thousand well-armed troops, en- 
countered the Norwegians at a place called Stanford-bridge, 
and put to the sword king Harold and earl Tosti, with the 
greatest part of their army ; and, although the battle Mas 
severely contested, gained a complete victory. Notwith- 
standing, he allowed Harold's son Olaf, and Paul, earl of 
Oi-kney, who had been left with part of the army to guard 
the ships, to return to their own country, with twenty ships 
and the relics of the [defeated] army ; having first received 
from tliem hostages and their oaths. 

While these events were passing, and when the king might 

' Soe note, p. 147. 

'He was half-brother only of St. Olavo, on the mother's side. 


have supposed that all his enemies were quelled, he received 
intelligence of the arrival of William, earl of Normandy, with 
an innumerable host of horsemen, slingers, archers, and 
foot soldiers, having taken into his pay auxiliary forces of 
great bravery from all parts of France ; and that he had 
moored his fleet at a place called Pevensey. Thereupon the 
king led his army towards London by forced marches ; and, 
although he was very sensible that some of the bravest men 
in England had fallen in the two [recent] battles, and that 
one half of his troops was not yet assembled, he did not hesi- 
tate to meet the enemy in Sussex, without loss of time ; and 
on Saturday, the eleventh of the calends of November [22nd 
October], before a third of his army was in fighting order, he 
gave them battle at a place nine miles from Hastings, where 
they had built a fort. The English being crowded in a confined 
position, many of them left their ranks, and few stood by him 
with resolute hearts ; nevertheless he made a stout resistance 
from the third hour of the day until nightfall, and defended 
himself with such courage and obstinacy, that the enemy 
almost despaired of taking his life. When, however, numbers 
had fallen on both sides, he, alas ! fell at twilight. There 
fell, also, his brothers, the earls Gurth and Leofric, and almost 
all the English nobles. Earl William led his army back to 

Harold reigned nine months and as many days. The earls 
Edwin and Morcar, who had withdrawn with their troops 
from the battle on hearing that he was dead, went to London, 
and sent off their sister, queen Elgitha, to Chester ; but 
Aldred, archbishop of York, and the earls just mentioned, 
with the citizens of London and the seamen, were desirous to 
proclaim Edgar the etheling king, he being nephew of king 
Edmund Ironside ; and promised that they would renew^ the 
war under his banner. But w^hile many were preparing to go 
forth to battle, the earls withdrew their support, and returned 
home with their army. 

Meanwhile, earl William was laying waste Sussex, Kent. 
Hampshire, Surre}^, Middlesex, and Herefordshire, and ceased 
not from burning vills and slaughtering the inhabitants, unti. 
he came to a vill called Beorcham [Berkhampstead], wdiere 
Aldred, the archbishop, Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, Walter. 
bishop of Hereford, Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin anc 

A.D. lOGG, 10C7.] WILLIAM I. CROWNED. 171 

Morcar, and some Londoners of the better sort, with many- 
others, met him, and, giving hostages, made their submission, 
and swore fealty to him ; but, although he concluded a treaty 
with them, he still allowed his troops to burn and pillage the 
vills. The feast of our Lord's Nativity approaching, he 
marched the whole army to London that he might be pro- 
claimed king there ; and as Stigand, the primate of all Eng- 
land, lay under the censure of the apostolical pope for not 
having obtained the pall canonically, he was anointed by 
Aldred, archbishop of York, with great ceremony, at West- 
minster, on Christmas day, which that year fell on a Monday ; 
having first, as the archbishop required, sworn before the 
altar of St. Peter the apostle, in the presence of the clergy 
and people, to protect the holy churches of God and their 
governors, and to rule tlie whole nation subject to him with 
justice and kingly providence, to make and maintain just laws, 
and straitly to forbid every sort of rapine and all unrighteous 

[a.d. 10G7.] Lent drawing near [21st February], king 
William returned to Normandy, taking with him Stigand, 
archbishop of Canterbury, Athelnoth, abbot of Glastonbury, 
Edgar the etheling, the earls Edwin and Morcar, W^altheof, 
son of earl Siward, the noble Ethelnoth, reeve of Kent, and 
many others of the chief men of England ; leaving his brother 
Odo, bishop of Bayeux, and William Fitz-Osborne, whom he 
had created earl of Hereford, governors of England, with 
ord'^Ts to build strong castles in suitable places. 

Wulfwi, bishop of Dorchester, died at Winchester, but was 
buried at Dorchester. 

Tliere lived at that time a very powerful thane, Edric, 
surnamed the Forester, the son of Elfric, brother of Edric 
Streon, whose lands were frequently ravaged by the garrison 
of Hereford and Richard Fitz-Scrope, because he disdained 
submission to the kin<j: ; but as often as tliev made inroads on 
his territories, they lost many of their knights and squires. 
This Edric, tlierefore, having summoned to his aid Blethgent 
and liitliwallon,^ kings of the Welsh, about the feast of the 
Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], laid waste the county 

' Tik'thyn and Rhywallon, already mentioned, princes of North 
Wales and Powis. 

172 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1068, 1069. 

of Hereford as far as the bridge on the river Lugg, and carried 
off a great booty. 

After this, winter being near at hand, king William re- 
turned from Normandy to England, and imposed on the 
English an insupportable tax. He then marched troops into 
Devonshire, and besieged and speedily reduced the city of 
Exeter, which the citizens and some English thanes held 
against him. But the countess Gritha, mother of Harold, 
king of England, and sister of Sweyn, king of Denmark, 
escaped from the city, with many others, and retired to 
Flanders ; and the citizens submitted to the king, and paid 
him fealty. Siward, nineteenth bishop of Rochester, died. 

[a.D. i068.] After Easter [23rd March], the countess 
Matilda came to England from Normandy, and was crowned 
queen by Aldred, archbishop of York, on Whitsunday [11th 
May]. After this, Maries weyn and Cospatric, and some of 
the most noble of the Northumbrian nation, in order to 
escape the king's tyranny, and fearing that, like others, they 
might be thrown into prison, took with them Edgar the 
etheling, with his mother Agatha and his two sisters, Mar- 
garet and Christina, and, embarking for Scotland, wintered 
there under favour of Malcolm, king of Scots. Meanwhile, 
king William marched his army to Nottingham, and, having 
fortified the castle there, proceeded to York, where he 
erected two strong forts, and having stationed in them five 
hundred men, he gave orders that strong castles should be 
built at Lincoln and other places. 

While these events were in process, the sons of king 
Harold, Godwin, Edmund, and Magnus, returned from Ire- 
land, and landed in Somersetshire, where Eadnoth, who had 
been the horse-thane of king Harold, opposed them with his 
forces, and giving them battle, was slain, with many of his 
troops. Flushed with victory, and having carried off much 
plunder from Devon and Cornwall, they returned to Ireland. 

[a'D. 1069.] Marianus, after his ten years' seclusion at 
Fulda, came to Mentz, by order of the bishop of Mentz and 
the abbot of Fulda, on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of 
April, being the Friday before Palm-Sunday. 

Two of Harold's sons came again from Ireland, with sixtv- 
four ships, and landing about the Nativity of St. John the 
Baptist [24th June] at the mouth of the river Tivy, fought a 


severe battle with Brian, count of Brittany ; after which they 
returned to the place whence they catne. 

On the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of July, being the 
Friday in the Nativity of the Seven Holy Brothers, Marianus 
secluded liimself near the principal monastery in the same 
city [Mentz]. 

Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September] Harold 
and Canute, sons of Sweyn, king of Denmark, and their uncle, 
earl Asbiorn, with earl Thurkill, arriving from Denmark with 
two hundred and forty ships, landed at the mouth of the 
river Humber, where they were met by Edgar the etheling, 
earl Waltheof, Marlesweyn, and many others, with a fleet they 
had assembled. Aldred, archbishop of York, was so dis- 
tressed at their arrival, that he fell dangerously sick, and 
departed this life, as he besought of God, on Friday the third 
of the ides [the 11th] of September, in the tenth year after 
he became archbishop, and was buried in the church of St. 
Peter on the eighth day afterwards, namely, on Saturday the 
thirteenth of the calends of October [19th September]. The 
Normans, who garrisoned tlie forts, set fire to the adjacent 
houses, fearing that they might be of service to the Danes in 
filling up the trenches ; and the flames spreading, destroyed 
the whole city, together with the monastery of St. Peter. 
But they were speedily punished for this by an infliction of 
the divine vengeance ; for on Monday the Danish fleet arrived 
before the city was entirely consumed, and the forts being 
stormed the same day, and more than three thousand of the 
Normans killed (the lives of William Malet and liis wife and 
two children, with very few others, being spared), the ships 
drew off laden with plunder. 

King William, receiving intelligence of this, immediately 
assembled an army, and hastened into Northumbria, giving 
way to his resentment ; and spent the whole winter in laying 
waste the country, slaughtering the inhabitants, and inflicting 
every sort of evil, without cessation. Meanwhile, he de- 
spatched messengers to the Danish carl, AsbitJrn, and promised 
to [)ay him secretly a large sum of money, and grant per- 
mission for his army to forage freely along the sea-coast, on 
condition that he would depart without fighting wlien the 
winter was over ; and he, in las extreme greediness for lucre, 
and to his utter disgrace, consented to the proposal. In 

174 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1069, 1070. 

consequence of the ravages of the Normans, first, in Northum* 
bria the preceding year, and again in the present and follow^ 
ing year, throughout nearly the whole of England, so severe 
a famine prevailed in most parts of the kingdom, but chiefly 
in Northumbria and the adjacent provinces, that men were 
driven to feed on the flesh of horses, dogs, cats, and even of 
human beings. 

[a.D. 1070.] By the advice of William, earl of Hereford, 
and some others, king William, during Lent [I7th February], 
caused all the monasteries of England to be searched, and the 
money deposited in them by the richer sort of the English, for 
security against his violence and rapacity, to be seized and 
carried to his own treasury. 

In the octaves of Easter [4th April] a great synod was held 
at Winchester, by command of king William, who was present 
himself, and with the concurrence of the lord Alexander the 
pope ; his legates, Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, and John and 
Peter, cardinal-priests of the apostolic see, representing his 
authority. In this synod, Stigand, archbishop of Canterbury, 
was degraded on three chai'ges : first, for having unlawfully 
held the bishopric of Winchester with the archbishopric ; 
next, for having taken the archbishopric while archbishop 
Robert was living, and even sometimes, in saying mass, 
wearing the palHum which Robert left behind him at Canter- 
bury when he was unjustly driven from England ; and lastly, 
for having accepted the pallium from Benedict, who was 
excommunicated by the Holy Roman Church for having 
simoniacally usurped the apostolic see. His brother, Ethel- 
mar, bishop of the East- Angles, was also degraded ; as were 
also a few abbots, the king doing his utmost to deprive the 
English of their dignities, that he might appoint persons of 
his own nation to their preferments, and thus confirm his 
power in his new kingdom. He also deprived several bishops 
and abbots, convicted of no open crimes either by the councils 
or the laws of the realm, and detained them in prison to the i 
end of their lives on mere suspicion, as we have said, of their 
being dangerous to his newly-acquired power. In this synod 
also, while the rest, aware of the king's bias, were trembling 
at the risk they ran of losing their appointmonts, Wulfstan, 
bishop of Worcester, boldly demanded the restoration of many 
of the possessions of his see which had been retained in his own 


power by archbisliop Aldred, when he was translated from 
^Voreester to York, and on his death had fallen into the king's 
lands ; and demanded, not only from those who presided at 
the synod, but from the king himself, that justice should be 
ione him. But as the church of York was silent, not having 
\ pastor to plead her cause, it was decided that tlie suit 
jhould stand over until such time as, by the appointment of 
m arehl)ishop, there should be some one who could reply to 
Wulfstan's claims, and after hearing the pleadings on both 
jides, a clearer and more equitable judgment might be given, 
riius tlie case was adjourned for the present. 

On Whitsunday ['J.Srd May] the king, at Windsor, gave 
the archbishopric of York to the venerable Thomas, canon of 
Bayeux, and the bishopric of Winchester to his chaplain, 
Walkeline. On the following day, by the king's command, 
Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, held a synod, [the other legates] 
the cardinals John and Peter having returned to Rome. At 
this synod, Ethelric, bishop of Sussex, was uncanonically p 
ieposed ; and although he was guilty of no crime, the king 
joon afterwards placed him in confinement at Marlborough ; 
jeveral abbots were also deprived. After these depositions, 
the king gave the bisho))ric of East-Anglia to Arfast, and the 
bishopric of Sussex to Stigand,^ who were both his chaplains; 
which Stigand transferred his see to Chichester, the chief city 
in his dioces e : the king also gave abbeys to some Norman 
LionksJ I'ho archbishop of Canterbury, being degraded, and 
the arclibishop of York dead, Walkeline was, by the king's 
command, consecrated by the same Ermenfrid, bishop of Sion, 
on the octave of W^hitsunday [30th May]. 

The feast of St. John the Baptist being near, earl Asbiorn 
sailed to Denmark witii the fleet which had wintered in the 
Huml)er ; but his brother Sweyn outlawed him, because he 
had accepted money from king William, to the great regret of 
the Danes. Edric, surnamed the Forester, a man of the most 
resolute courage, of whom we have spoken before, was recon- 
ciled with king William. After this, the king summoned 
from Normandy LantVunc, abbot of Caen, a Lombard by birth, 
a man of unl)Ounded learning, master of the liberal arts, and 
of both sacred and secular literature, and of the greatest 

' This first bishop of Chichostcr must not bo confounded with the 
arcbbibhup ui' ihu tiume name. 

176 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1070, 1071. 

prudence in counsel and the administration of worldly affairs ; 
and on the day of the Assumption of St. Mary, appointed 
him archbishop of Canterbury, causing him to be consecrated 
at Canterbury on the feast of St. John the Baptist, being 
Sunday. He was consecrated by Gis6, bishop of Wells, ancV 
Walter, bishop of Hereford, who were both ordained at RonK 
by pope Nicholas, when Aldred, archbishop of York, receivec , 
the pallium, — for he evaded being ordained by Stigand, wh< } 
then held the archbishopric of Canterbury, knowing him no ! 
to have received the pallium canonically. Bishop Herimar 
who had already transferred the seat of his bishopric fron 
Sherbourne to Salisbury, also assisted at his consecration 
with some others. Afterwards, Lanfranc consecrated Thomas 
archbishop of York. The suit of the reverend Wulfstan 
bishop of Worcester, was again prosecuted, there being no\ 
a bishop who could advocate the cause of the church ,o 
York ; and the affair was, by the aid of God's grace, decide* 
at a council held at a place called Pedred, before the king 
archbishop Lanfranc, and the bishops, abbots, earls, an' 
lords of all England. All the groundless assertions by whici 
Thomas and his abettors strove to humble the church of Wor 
cester, and reduce her to subjection and servitude to th 
church of York, were, by God's just judgment, entire! 
refuted and negatived by written documents, so that Wulfsta 
not only recovered the possessions he claimed, but, by God' 
goodness, and the king's assent, regained for his see all th 
immunities and privileges freely granted to it by its firs 
founders, the holy king Ethered, Oshere, sub-king of th 
Hwiccas, and the other kings of Mercia, Cenred, Ethelbak 
Offa, Kenulf, Edward the Elder, Athelstan, Edmund, Edrec 
and Edgar. 

Ethelwine, bishop of Durham, was taken by king William 
retainers, and thrown into prison, where, refusing all food i 
the depth of his distress, he died of grief and starvation.^ 
the death of Siward, bishop of Rochester, Arnostus, a mon 
of Bee, succeeded him, and was himself succeeded by Gundul 
a monk of the same church. 

[a.D. 1071.3 Lanfranc and Thomas went to Rome, an 

' The death of Ethelwine is here anticipated, as we find him tl ! 
following year with Morcar, Hereward, and their associates at El i 
aad thrown into prison at Abingdon, where he died. 



received the pallium from pope Alexander. Earls Edwin and 
Morear escaped secretly from king William's court, finding 
that he intended to arrest them, and they were for some time 
in arms against hnn ; but seeing that their enterprise was not 
successful, Edwin resolved to go to Malcolm, king of the 
Scots, but, during the journey, he fell into an ambuscade laid 
by his own people, and was killed. Morear and Ethelvvine, 
bishop of Durham, Siward, surnamed Barn, and Hereward, a 
man of great bravery, with many others, took ship and went 
to the Isle of Ely, intending to winter there. The king, 
hearing of this, blocked up every outlet on the eastern side of 
the island by means of his boatmen, and caused a bridge, two 
miles long, to be constructed on the western side. When 
they saw that they wei-e thus shut in, they resisted no longer, 
and all surrendered themselves to the king, except the brave 
Hereward, who escaped through the fens with a few others. 
The king immediately sent bishop Ethelwine to Abingdon, 
where he was im})risoned, and died the same winter. The 
earl and the rest were dispersed in various parts of England, 
some being placed in confinement, and others set at liberty 
with the loss of their hands or eyes. 

[a.d. 1072.] After the Assumption of St. Mary [15th 
August], William, king of England, attended by Edric the 
Forester, made an exi)edition into Scotland with a naval force 
and an army of cavalry, and reduced it under his own domi- 
nion ; and Malcolm, king of Scots, met him at a place called 
Abernethy, and did him homage. Ethclric, formerly bishop 
of Durham, died at Westminster, where king William had 
sent him into confinement, on Monday, the ides [the 15th] of 
October. U'alcliere, a native of Lorraine, succeeded Ethelwine 
in the see of Durham. 

[a.d. 1073.] William, king of England, reduced to sub- 
jection the city of Mans, and the province belonging to it, 
chiefly by the aid of the English whom he had taken over 
with him. P]dgar the etheling came from Scotland to 
Normandy, passing through England ; and was reconciled to 
the king. 

[a.d. J 074.] Roger, earl of Hereford, son of William, 
earl of the same county, gave his sister to wife to Ilalj)!!, 
earl of East Anglia,^ contrary to the command of king 
* Earl of Norfolk and Sufi'olk. — Saxon Chronicle. 



William,^ and while he was celebrating the nuptials with great 
magnificence, and a great number of nobles were assembled 
on the occasion at a place called Yxninga, in the province of 
Cambridge, a great conspiracy was formed against the king, in 
which many of them were concerned, and they inveigled and 
over-persuaded earl Waltheof to join their league. However, 
as soon as he was able, he went to Lanfranc, archbishop of 
Canterbury, and receiving absolution at his hands from his 
involuntary oath, by his advice hastened to king William 
in Normandy, and laying the whole aiFair before him 
threw himself upon his mercy. The other chiefs of the 
conspiracy, being resolved to carry out their enterprise, retired 
to their castles, and used all their efforts with their adherents 
to foment the rebellion. Bat Wulstan, bishop of Worcester, 
with a strong body of troops, and Ethelwy, abbot of Evesham, 
with his vassals, supported by Urso, sheriff of Worcestershire, 
and Walter de Lacy, with their own followers, and a general 
muster of the people, marched against the earl of Hereford, 
to prevent his fording the Severn and joining his forces to 
those of earl Ealph at the place appointed. Odo, bishop 
of Bayeux, the king's brother, and Geoffrey, bishop of Cou- 
tances, having assembled a large army, both of the English 
and Normans, fell in with earl Ealph as he was pitching his 
camp near Cambridge. The earl, finding that his plans were 
frustrated, and terrified at the number of his opponents, 
retired privately to Norwich, and having committed his castle 
to the keeping of his wife and his knights, embarked from 
England for Little Britain, his enemies pursuing him, and 
putting to death or mutilating in various ways such of his 
followers as they were able to capture. The commanders 
of the king's army then besieged his castle, until peace 
being granted by the king's permission, the countess had 
leave to quit England with her attendants. After these 
occurrences, in the course of the autumn, the king returned 
from Normimdy, and put earl Roger in confinement ; he also 
gave earl Waltheof into custody, although he had implored 
his mercy. 

Edgitha, sister of King Harold, and formerly queen of 
England, died at Winchester on the fourteenth of the calends 

^ The Saxon Chronicle says that king William "gave William 
Fitz-Osbern's daughter in max-riage to earl Ralph." 

A. D. 1075 — 7.] WALTHEOF's EXECUTION. 179 

of January, that is in the montli of December [the lOtli], 
Her corpse was, by the king's coinmantl, carried to London, 
and buried with fjreat pomp near the body of her husband, 
king Edward, at Westminster, where the king held his court 
at the ensuing Christmas ; and of those Avho had lifted up 
themselves against him, some he banished from England, and 
others he ignominiously punished by the loss of their eyes or 
hands, and tlie earls Waltheof and Roger having been found 
giulty by a judgment of the court, were thrown into closer 

[a.d. 1075.] Earl Waltheof having been brought outside 
the city of Winchester, by king William's order, was cruelly 
and undeservedly beheaded, and thrown into a hole on tiie 
the spot ; but in the course of time, by the providence of 
God, his body was exhumed, and conveyed with great honour 
to Croyland, where it was entombed in the church with due 
ceremony. The earl, during the close of his life, when in 
close confinement, ceaselessly and most bitterly lamented 
whatever he had done amiss, and strove to propitiate God by 
vigils, prayers, fastings, and alms. Men, indeed, sought to 
blot out the remembrance of him on earth, but we firmly 
believe that he is rejoicing with the saints in heaven. For 
this we have the faithful testimony of archbishop Lanfranc, of 
pious memory, who having received his confession, and ad- 
ministered absolution and penance, declared that he was 
guiltless of the crime laid to his charge, the conspiracy 
already mentioned ; and as to his other offences, he had 
lamented them with tears of penitence, so that he himself 
should have reason to be thankful if, after his own departure, 
he should be partaker of the same blessed rest.^ After this, 
the king crossed the sea, and invading the lesser Britain, sat 
down before the castle of Dol, until Philip, king of France, 
forced him to retreat. 
[a.d. 1076.] 

[a.d. 1077.] Robert, king William's eldest son, feeling 
aggrieved at not being put into possession of Normandy, 

' Cf. the very circumstantial account cjivcn by Ordericus Vitalis, of 
earl Waltheot's share in the conspiracy, his trial and traj^ical imprison- 
ment and execution, and the removal of his remains to Croyland. U. 
iv. cc. xiv. and xvii. Vol. ii., pp. 79, <S(), and 102, lO.S, Bohns Antiq. 
Lib. See aliio Ingul[)h's Chronicle, ibid, pp. 145-7 and 'iOO. 

N 2 

180 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER. [a.D. 1079, 1080. 

which his father had granted him in the presence of Philip, 
king of France, before his expedition to England, went to 
France, and, supported by Philip, made frequent inroads into 
Normandy, plundering and burning the vills and destroying 
the people, so that he occasioned his father no little loss and 

[a.D. 1079.] Malcolm, king of the Scots, after the feast of 
the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], ravaged North- 
umbria as far as the great river Tyne, and having slain 
numbers of the people, and made still more captives, he re- 
turned with an immense booty. King William, while engaged 
in a combat with his son Robert before the castle of Gerberoi, 
which king Philip had granted to him, was wounded by him 
in the arm and unhorsed ; but Robert, recognising his father's 
voice, instantly dismounted, and, bidding him mount his 
own charger, suffered him to depart. The king soon after- 
wards retreated, having had many of his men slain and some 
taken prisoners, and his son William and several others 

The venerable Robert, who had received the order of 
priesthood by the hands of Wulfstan, the most reverend bishop 
of Worcester, was consecrated bishop of Hereford by Lanfranc, 
the archbishop, on the fourth of the calends of January 
[29th December], at Canterbury. 

[a.D. 1080.] Walchere, bishop of Durham, a native of 
Lorraine, was slain by the Northumbrians on Thursday the 
second of the ides [14th] of May, at a place called " Caput 
Capraj" (Goat's or Gates-head), in revenge for the death of 
Liulf, a noble thane. This man had many hereditary 
domains in various parts of England ; but as the Normans 
at that time gave free vent to their ferocity in every quarter, 
he retired to Durham with all belonging to him, having a 
devoted regard for St. Cuthbert : for, as he was wont to 
relate to Aldred, archbishop of York, and other men of 
religion, that saint often appeared to him, both sleeping and 
waking, and revealed to him, as his faithful votary, all that he 
wished to have done. Under his protection, then, Liulf lived 
for a long time, sometimes in the town, sometimes on the 
estates he held in that part of the country. Bishop Walchere 

^ Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, b. iv. c. xx. 


had welcomed his arrival at Durham, being himself entirely 
devoted to the same saint, and he therefore entertained so 
great a regard for him that he was loath to transact any 
business of importaTiee in his secular concerns without his 
advice. In consequence of this, his chaplain Leobwine, whom 
he had raised to such a j)itch of power that scarcely anything 
was moved either in the bishopric or in the county without 
his consent, at once stung to the quick by jealousy, and 
puffed up with excessive pride by his own pre-eminence, 
treated Liulf with great arrogance ; making light of his 
opinions and counsels, and using every eflbrt to render them 
null. Frequently also, when arguing wMth him in the bishop's 
presence, he provoked him to anger by opprobrious language, 
and even used threats. On one occasion, when this same 
Liulf, having been called to his counsels by the bishop, had 
given his decisions according to law and justice, Leobwine 
violently opposed him, and exasperated him by contemptuous 
expressions. As t^ie other, "however, replied to him with 
more vehemence than he was wont, he immediately left the 
court, and calling aside Gilbert, to whom the bishop, as being 
his kinsman, had deputed the government of the county of 
Northumbria, earnestly besought him to avenge him by com- 
passing Liulfs deatli on the first opportunity. Gilbert, 
readily consenting to this iniquitous request, having collected 
in a body his own retainers and those of the bishop and 
Leobwine, went one night to the vill where Liulf then was, 
and wickedly slew him in his own house with nearly all his 
household. On hearing this, the bishop uttered a deep groan, 
and tearing off his hood from his head and casting it on the 
ground, said mournfully, " This has been effected through 
your crafty devices and most ill-advised suggestions, and 
I would have you know that, for a surety, you have destroyed 
both yourself and me and all my establi^shment by the sword 
of your tongue." Saying this, he hastily shut himself up in 
the castle, and took care, by despatching messengers with all 
speed throughout Northumbria, to make it generally known 
that, so far from having been privy to Liulfs deatli, he had 
banislu'd from Northumbria his murderer Gilbert and all his 
accomplices, and was ready to clear himself by submitting to 
the judgment of the pope. Then, by the exchange of mes- 
fiCDgers, he and the kindred of those who were slain, having 


made a truce between themselves, fixed time and place in 
which they would meet and conclude a firm peace with 
each other. 

At the time appointed they assembled at the place agreed 
on ; but the bishop was unwilling to have the cause pleaded 
in the open air, and entered a church which was on the spot, 
with his clerks and the more honourable of his knights ; and, 
having consulted with them, sent out to them again and again 
chosen friends to treat of terms of peace : but they would by 
no means assent to his proposals, considering it certain that 
Liulf had been put to death by the bishop's orders ; for not 
only had Leobwine, on the very night after the murder of his 
neighbour, entertained Gilbert and his associates with friendly 
familiarity, but the bishop himself had admitted him among 
his household with the same favour as before : wherefore, they 
first massacred all those of the bishop's party who were out- 
side the church, a few only saving themselves by flight. 
Seeing this, to satisfy the rage of his adversaries, the bishop 
ordered the before-mentioned Gilbert, his kinsman, whose life 
was sought, to go out of the church ; who, as he went, was 
closely followed by men-at-arms ready to defend liim ; but 
the enemy fell upon them instantly with swords and spears, 
and killed them all, except two English thanes, who were 
sjDared out of regard to their kindred. 

They also slew Leofwine, dean of Durham, as soon as he 
came out, because he had often given the bisliop adverse 
counsels, and the rest of the clergy with him. But the bishop, 
finding that their rage could not be appeased by any means 
short of the sacrifice of the chief author of all the calamity, 
Leobwine, requested him to go forth. Being, however, en- 
tirely unable to prevail upon him to venture, he proceeded 
himself to the door of the church and intreated that his own 
life might be saved. His prayers being rejected, he covered 
his head with the skirt of his robe, and, passing tlirough the 
open door, was instantly despatched by the swords of the 
enemy. They next commanded Leobwine to come forth, and, 
on his refusing, set fire to the walls and roof of the church ; 
but he preferring to end his life by fire rather than by the 
sword, bore the flames for some time. At length, half-burnt, 
he leaped down, and, being dashed in pieces, paid the penalty 
of his iniquity by his miserable end. To avenge the atrocious 


murder of tliese men, king William ravaged Northumbria the 
same year. 

[a.d. 1081.] William, abbot of the monastery of St. Vincent, 
the martyr, having been chosen by king William, ^vas appointed 
to the bishopric of Durham, and consecrated by archbishop 
Thomas on the nones [the 5th] of January. 

[a.d, 1082.] King William caused his brother Odo, bishop 
of Bayeux, to be placed in confinement in Normandy. 

[a.d. 1083.] There was a dreadful quarrel between the 
monks of Glastonl)ury and their abbot, Thurstan, a man un- 
wortliy of the dignity, who had been raised to it by king 
William from being a monk of Caen, indiscreet as he was. 
Among his other acts of folly, he attempted to force the 
monks to relinquish the Gregorian chaunt, which he despised, 
and to learn to sing that of one William, a monk of Fecamp. 
They were much aggrieved at this, having grown old in the use 
of this, as well as in other ecclesiastical offices, according to 
the usage of the Roman church ; whereupon he suddenly 
broke into the chapter-house at the head of an armed band of 
men in arms, one day when they least expected it, and pursued 
the terrified monks, who took refuge in the church, to the 
foot of the altar. The armed band jnerced the crosses and 
the images and shrines of the saints with darts and arrows, 
and even speared to death one of the monks as he was clinging 
to the altar ; another was shot by arrows on the altar-steps ; 
the rest, driven by necessity, defended themselves bravely 
with the benches and candlesticks of the church, and, although 
severely wounded, drove the soldiers out of the choir. Two 
of the monks were killed and fourteen wounded, and some of 
the soldiers also received wounds. 

On the trial for this outrage, it appeared that the abbot was 
most to ))lame, and the king removed him and sent him back 
to his monastery in Normandy. A great number of the monks 
were, by the king's conminnd, dispersed among the cathedrals 
and abbeys, where they were confined. After his death, the 
abbot repurchased the abl)ey from his son, king William, for 
five hundred pounds ; and, after wandering about for some 
years among the possessions of the church, ended Ins life in 
misery far from the monastery, as he deserved. Queen 
Matilda died in Normandy on Thursday the fourth of the 
Rones [the 2nd] of November, and was buried at Caen.^ 
' Ordericus Vitalis, vol. ii., p. 376, in Antiq. Lib. 

184 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1084-1086. 

[a.d. 1084.] William, king of England, levied six shillings 
from every hide of land throughout England. 

[a.d. 1085.] Edmund, abbot of Pershore, a man of eminent 
worth and piety, died in a good old age on Sunday the seven- 
teenth of the calends of July [15th June], and was honourably 
buried by Serlo, the venerable abbot of Gloucester : he was 
succeeded by Thurstan, a monk of Gloucester. The same 
year, Canute, king of Denmark, assembled a powerful fleet 
for an expedition to England, in which he had the sujjport of 
his father-in-law, Robert, earl of Flanders. In consequence, 
king William took into his pay a great many thousand troops, 
consisting of archers and foot-soldiers, from every part of 
France, and some from Normandy, and, returning to England 
in the time of autumn, distributed them througliout the 
kingdom, giving orders to the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, 
sheriffs, and royal officers to supply them with provisions. 
Finding, however, that the threatened hostilities were frus- 
trated, he disbanded part of his army, detaining the rest in 
England through the whole winter. During Christmas he 
held his court at Gloucester, where he gave bishoprics to 
three of his chaplains. Maurice had London ; William, Thet- 
ford ; and Robert, Chester. 

[a.d. 1086.] King William caused a record^ to be made 
through all England of how much land each of his barons 
held, the number of knight-fees, of ploughs, of villains, and 
beasts ; and also of all the ready money every man possessed 
throughout his kingdom, from the greatest to the least, and 
how much rent each estate was able to pay ; and the land 
was sorely harassed by the distress which ensued from it. 

In Whitsun-week [24th May] the king conferred the honour 
of knighthood on his son Henry, at Westminster where he held 
his court. Soon afterwards he summoned all archbishops, 
bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and sheriffs, with their knights, 
to meet him at Salisbury on the calends [the 1st] of August, 
and on their appearance enforced on the knights an oath of 
fealty to himself against all others. 

About this time, the etheling Edgar, having obtained the 
king's licence, crossed the sea with two hundred knights and 
went to Apulia : his sister, the virgin Christina, entered the 
monastery of Ramsey and became a nun. The same year 

^ It is hardly necessary to remark that our author refers to the 
Domesday Book. 


there was a great murrain among the cattle, and the atmo- 
sphere was very sickly. 

[a.d. 1087.] This year there was great mortality, first 
from fevers, and afterwards from famine. Meanwliile, the 
devouring flames laid nearly all the cities of England in ruins, 
including the church of St. Paul the apostle, and the largest 
and best part of London. King Canute fell a martyr at the 
hands of his subjects in a church, on Saturday the sixth of 
the ides [tlie lUth] of July.^ Stigand, bishop of Chichester, 
Scolland, abbot of St. Augustine's (Canterbury), Alsy, abbot 
of Bath, and Thurstan, abbot of Pershore, died. 

Before the feast of the Assumptionof St. Mary [15th August], 
king William entered France witJi an army, and having burnt 
the town of Mantes, witli all the churches in it, and two re- 
cluses, tlien returned to Normandy; but on his return he 
was seized by dreadful pains in the bowels, which grew worse 
from day to day. His disorder increasing so that he perceived 
that death was approaching, he liberated his brotlier Odo, bishop 
of Bayeux, the earls Morcar, Roger, and Siward, surnamed 
Barn, with Wulnoth, king Harold's brother, whom he had 
kept in prison from his childhood, and all whom he had im- 
prisoned either in England or Normandy. He then made 
over the kingdom of England to his son William,^ and 
granted the duchy of Normandy to Ids eldest son, Bobert, 
who was at that time an exile in France ; and so, strengthened 
i>y tlie heavenly viaticum, he yielded up his life and his 
kingdom on tlje fiftli of the ides [the Dth] of September, 
liaving reigned in England twenty years, ten months, and 
twenty-eiglit days. He lies buried at Caen, in the church of 
St. Stoj)hen, the Proto-martyr, which he founded and en- 
dowed liimself. 

His son William crossed over to England in great haste, 
taking with him Wulnoth and Morcar ; but as soon as he 
reached Winchester he placed them in confinement as before; 
and on Sunday the sixth of the calends of October 
[JGth September] he was crowned at Westminster by 

' Cf. Ordfrieus Vitalis, b. vii. c. xi ; and two notes in vol. ii., pp. 
382, '^H^, of the fdition in Bohna Antiq. Lib. 

' Ordcricus Vitalis ;^ivos a dilVcrcnt representation ; /6A/., p. 413. 
Chapters xv — xvii. of this worlv give the best account of the closing 
acts and scenes of the Conqueror's life. 

186 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1087, 1088. 

Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury. Then returning to 
Winchester he divided his father's treasure among the 
churches in England, according to his directions ; namely, 
that some of the principal churches should have ten marks of 
gold, some six, and others less ; and to each of the churches 
in his cities and vills he gave sixty pence : he also commanded 
that crosses, altars, reliquaries, missals,-^ candlesticks, holy- 
water pots,^ and chalices,^ and various ornaments, studded 
with gems, gold, silver, and precious stones, should be dis- 
tributed among the greater churches and abbeys. His brother 
Robert also, on his return to Normandy, liberally distributed 
the treasures he found ; giving them to the monasteries and 
churches and the poor, for the good of his father's soul ; and, 
releasing from prison Ulf, the son of Harold, formerly king of 
England, and Duncan, son of Malcolm, king of the Scots, 
conferred on them the honour of knighthood, and permitted 
them to depart. 

[a.D. 1088.] This year there was great dissension among 
the English nobility; for part of the Norman nobles, although 
they were few in number, favoured king William, while the 
other part, which was the most numerous, adhered to Robert, 
earl of Normandy, and wished to invite him over, and either 
betray alive the brother w^ho was king to his brother the earl, 
or deprive the king of his crown and life. The chief movers 
in this execrable design were Odo, bishop of Bayeux, who was 
also earl of Kent, and Robert, earl of Morton, his brother, 
both of whom were brothers of king William the Elder, but 
only by the mother's side.* There were also concerned in the 

' Textos. Looking to its connection with other church furniture, 
this word might perhaps be rendered coverings (for the altar or its 
ornaments), although in pure Latin it would then be texta. We are, 
however, inclined to think that it means books used in the service of 
the altar ; the missal, together with the canon of the mass, containing the 
introits, graduals, tracts, lessons, &c., besides the epistles and gospels ; 
all which may be called texts. 

^ Situlas; the word is so applied in an inventory of the church of 
Spires, a.d. 1419. "Item, unus situlus cum aspergerio argenti pro 
aqua benedicta. 

^ Fistulas ; the word was originally applied to the reed used in 
administering the cup to the faithful, when the communion was given 
in both kinds. 

* Bishop Odo and Robert, earl of Morton, were the sons of Harlotta, 
the mother of William the Conqueror, by Herluin de Conteville, to 
whom she was married before the death of Robert. 

A.D. loss.] THE barons' REVOLT. 187 

plot Geoffrey, bishop of Coiitfinces, witli his nepliew Robert, 
earl of Northunibria, Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, and what 
was worse still, William, bishop of Durham ; for at this very 
time the king relied on his discretion as a faithful counsellor, 
lie being a man of great sagacity, and the whole common- 
wealth of England was under his administration. They were 
men whose vast landed possessions gave them great pre- 
ponderance in England. The number of their comrades in 
arms, and associates in the conspiracy, daily increased. This 
execrable design was secretly discussed during Lent [March 
1st — April 9th], so that it might burst forth after Easter 
[10th April] ; for withdrawing from the king's court they 
fortified their castles, and prepared to spread fire and sword, 
rapine and slaughter through the country. What an accursed 
deed was this, a conflict worse than civil war ! Fathers fought 
against sons, brothers against brothers, friends against kins- 
men, foreigners against foreigners. 

Meanwhile, Odo, bishop of Bayeux, having fortified 
Rochester, sent to Normandy, exhorting earl Robert to lose 
no time in coming to England, informing him of what had 
taken place, and assuring him that the kingdom was ready for 
liim, and that if he were not wanting to himself, the crown 
was his own. Struck with the unexpected news, the earl 
announces it to his friends with exultation, already anticipates 
a triumph, secure of success, and invites numbers to share the 
s})oil. He sends an auxiliary force to the support of bishop 
Odo, his uncle, in England, and promises to follow it as 
soon as he can assemble a larger army. The troops despatched 
by earl Robert on their arri\al in England had the custody 
of Rochester intrusted to them by bishop Odo ; Eustace the 
younger, count of Boulogne, and Robert de Belesme, as the 
men of highest rank, assuming the command. 

When the king received intelligence of this movement, he 
was strangely troubled ; but relying on his undaunted valour, 
and having sent messengers who, by virtue of his royal authority, 
summoned to his side those he considered loyal, he wxMit to 
London for the purpose of ordering all matters and providing 
means for the prosecution of the war. Assembling troops, 
both horse and foot, to form an army, which, though small, 
contained as many Normans as he could at ])resent muster, 
but consisted chiefly of English, and making [just] laws and 


promising all sorts of good things to his adherents, he put 
his trust in God's mercy, and prepared to march to Rochester, 
where he heard the enemy's main body was stationed. For 
he was given to undei'stand that the bishop Odo was there 
with all his force, and the troops from beyond sea. Having 
put his army in motion, he found that Tunbridge, a place 
belonging to Gilbert Pitz-Richard, was held against him ; he 
therefore laid siege to it, stormed it in two days, and forced 
Gilbert, who was wounded, to surrender himself and his 
castle. The report of this reaching Odo's ears, after con- 
sulting with his friends, he left Rochester and proceeded 
with a few followers to the castle of his brother Robert, 
earl of Morton, called Pevensey. Finding his brother 
there, he exhorted him to hold out, assuring them that they 
should be safe there ; and while the king was engaged in 
the siege of Rochester, the earl of Normandy would arrive 
with a large army, and, relieving them and their garrison, 
make himself master of the kingdom, and amply reward his 

The king, having reduced Tunbridge and received the 
fealty of the inhabitants, left Gilbert there in consequence of 
his wound, and, placing a garrison in the castle, was on the 
point of continuing his march to Rochester according to his 
first intention, when he heard that his uncle had left it and 
gone to Pevensey. Acting, therefore, on sound advice, he 
led his army in pursuit of him to that place, hoping that he 
should sooner terminate the war, if he could first triumph 
over the authors of all the mischief we have described. He 
made forced marches, he prepared his engines, he besieged 
his two uncles. The place was strongly fortified, but he 
made incessant efforts to reduce it.^ 

Meanwhile the storm of war raged in every part of Eng- 
land. The garrison of Rochester fell on the people of 
Canterbury and London with fire and sword ; for Lanfranc, 
the archbishop, and nearly all the nobles of that province, 
were with the Idng. Roger,^ an ally of Robert, was at his 

' Our author's account of the important events connected with the 
siege of Rochester, which ended in the expulsion of the bishop of 
Mayeux, is very concise. Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, vol. ii., pp.436 — 441. 

^ Roger de Montgomery, earl of Shrewsbury. Arundel was the 
first English fief granted to his father. 

A.D. 1088.] CIVIL WARS. 189 

castle of Anindol, expecting the arrival of the earl of Nor- 
mandy.^ Geoffrey, bishop of Coutances, held Bristol castle in 
conjunction with his ncjihew and accomplice in conspiracy and 
treason, Robert de Mowbray, a man of military experience ; 
who, collecting troops, attacked Batli, a city of the king's, 
and having burnt and plundered it, passed on towards Wilt- 
shire, where he ravaged the vills and slaughtered many of the 
inhabitants, and at length reached Ilchester, and sat down 
before it, determined to take it. The besiegers were animated 
in their attacks by the hope of plunder and the desire of 
victory. The men in the garrison made a stout resistance in 
defence of themselves and those who were dear to them. At 
length, of the two, those who were driven to extremity 
triumphed, and Robert, being repulsed, retired, mourning 
over his ill success. William d'Eu made an irruption into 
Grloucestershire, and having plundered the royal vill of 
Berkeley, committed great ravages through the country with 
Bre and sword. 

[^Worcestej' defended by Bishop Wulf start.'] 

While so much destruction was wrought in every quarter, 
Bernard du Neuf-Marche, Roger de Lacy, who had lately 
(vrested Hereford from the king, and Ralph de Mortemer,^ 
locomplices in the conspiracy, with the vassals of Roger, earl 
)f Shrewsbury, having assembled a numerous army of English, 
S^ormans, and Welsh, burst into the province of Worcester, 
leclaring that they would burn the city of Worcester, 
blunder the church of God and St. Mary, and take summary 
/■engeance on the inhabitants for their loyalty to the king. 
')n hearing this, the reverend father Wulfstan, bishop of 
iVorcester,'* — a man of deep piety and dove-like sim})licity, 

' Comitis prcedicli. Florence of Worcester, throiif^hout his chron- 
cle, (kvsi<;nat('S Robert as <'arl,iiot duko, of Normandy. 

^ Ordcricus Vitalis adds "O.-hern, son of rkioliard,sui-iiainod Scroop," 
o the list. lie appears, by Domesday Book, to liavo held in capite 
ands in Worc(>st(^rshire. 

3 St. Wulfstan, bishop of Worcester, 1002 — Jan. 18, 1095. Florence, 
n tliis and subs('(pient j)assa<;es, naturally enters into more details of 
•v(!nts connected with Worcestershire and the adjoining counties, than 
my other chronicler. 


beloved alike by God and the people he entirely governed, 
faithful to the king as his earthly lord, under all circum- 
stances, — was in great tribulation ; but soon rallying, by God's 
mercy, prepared himself like another Moses to stand manfully 
by his people and city. While they armed themselves to re- 
pel the enemy, he poured forth supplications in the impending 
danger, exhorting his people not to despair of the help of 
God, who fighteth not with sword and spear. Meanwhile, the 
Normans, taking counsel, entreated the bishop to remove 
from the church into the castle, saying that his presence 
would give them more security if they should be in greater 
peril : for they loved him much. Such was his extraordinary 
kindness of heart, that, from duty to the king and regard for 
them, he assented to their request. 

Thereupon the bishop's retainers bravely made ready to fight ; 
the garrison and the whole body of the citizens assembled, 
declaring that they would encounter the enemy on the other 
side of the Severn, if the bishop would give them leave. 
Taking their arms, therefore, and being arrayed for battle, 
they met the bishop as he was going to the castle, and besought 
him to grant their desire, to which he freely assented. " Go,'* 
said he, "my sons, go in peace, go in confidence, with the 
blessing of God, and mine. Trusting in God, I promise you 
that no sword shall hurt you this day, no disaster, no enemy. 
Be firm in your loyalty to the king, and do valiantly for the 
safety of the people and the city." On hearing these words 
they cheerfully crossed the bridge which had been repaired, 
and beheld from a distance the enemy rapidly approaching. 
The fury of war was already raging with violence through 
their ranks, for, despite of the bishop's injunctions, they had 
set fire to his own domains. On hearing this, the bishop was 
striken with deep sorrow, seeing the impoverishment of the 
possessions of the church ; and holding council upon it, was 
wrought upon by the unanimous voice of all present to 
pronounce a curse upon the enemy. 

A miracle ensued, which showed at once the power of God, 
and the worthiness of the man ; for the enemy, who were dis- 
persed in parties through the fields, were instantly struck with 
such feebleness in their limbs, and loss of eyesight, that they 
were scarcely able to carry their arms, or recognise their com- 
rades, or discern those who were advancing to attack them. 


While they in their blindness were at a loss what to do, con- 
fidence in God and the bishop's blessing encouraged our party. 
They had so lost their wits that they neither had the sense to 
efloet a retreat, nor sought any moans of defence ; but being 
by God's judgment given up to the fate of the reprobate, 
they easily fell into the hands of their enemies. The foot 
3oldiers were put to the sword, the knights and their mounted 
followers, English, Norman, and Welsh, were taken prisoners, 
the rest barely managing in their feeble state to make their 
escape. The king's liege-men and the bishop's retainers 
returned home in triumph without the loss of a single man ; 
thanking God for the preservation of the property of the 
L'hurch, and the bishop for his salutary counsels. 

[a.d. 1089.] Lanfranc, archbishop of Canterbury, died 
on Thursday the 9th of the calends of June [24th May]. 
The same year, on Saturday the third of the ides [the 11th 
of August], about the third hour, there was a great earthquake 
throughout all England. 

[a.d. 1090.] William the younger, king of England, 
coveted to wrest Normandy from his brother Robert, and 
subject it to his own dominion. His first step was to make 
terms with Walter de St. Valery and Odo d' Aumale, for putting 
their castles into his hands, and he afterwards got possession 
of other castles in the same way ; and in all these he stationed 
troops, with orders to ravage Normandy. Earl Robert, find- 
ing this, and discovering the disloyalty of his nobles, sent 
envoys to Philip, king of France, his liege-lord, to invite him 
into Normandy ; whereupon he and the king laid siege 
to one of the castles in which his brother had placed a garri- 
son. This being reported to king William, he sent privately 
a, large sum of money to king Philip, and earnestly entreated 
him to raise the siege and return home ; to which Philip con- 

[a.d. 1001.] In the month of February, king William the 
y^ounger went over to Normandy with the determinjition to 
wrest it from his brother Robert; but while he remained 
there peace was made between them on the terms that the 
earl should freely cede to tlie king the county of Eu, the ab- 
bey of Fecamp, the abbey of Mount St. Michael, Cherbourg, 
and the castles which had revolted from him ; while the king 
undertook, on his part, to reduce tiie province of Maine, 


and the castles in Normandy which were then held against 
the earl to subjection to him ; should restore their English 
domains to all the Normans who had forfeited them by their 
adherence to the earl ; and should grant him such lands in 
England as they had already agreed on. It was stipulated, 
in addition, that if the earl should die without leaving a son 
born in lawful w^edlock, the king should be his heir ; and if 
the king should happen to die under similar circumstances, 
the earl should be his heir. This treaty was ratified by the 
oaths of twelve barons on the king's side and twelve on the 

Meanwhile, their brother Henry, at the head of all the 
troops he could muster, got possession of Mount St. Michael, 
some of the monks abetting him ; and began to ravage the 
lands of the king, taking some of his vassals prisoners and 
plundering others. Thereupon the king and the earl assem- 
bled an army and besieged the mount during the whole of 
Lent [26th February], having frequent skirmishes with prince 
Henry, in which they lost some of their men and horses. The 
king, however, becoming weary of the length of the siege, drew 
off without coming to terms ; and shortly afterwards took from 
Edgar the etheling the possessions which the earl had granted 
him, and forced him to quit Normandy. 

[Irruptions of the Scots.'] 

In the month of May, Malcolm, king of the Scots, made an 
irruption into Northumbria with a great army,^ intending, if 
he was successful, to proceed further and make the people of 
England feel his power. However, God w^ould not allow it, and 
his enterprise failed ; but before he returned his army pillaged 
Northumbria and they carried away much booty. On re- 
ceiving this intelligence the king returned to England with 
his brother Robert in the month of Aus'ust, and not lonsr 
afterwards set on foot an expedition, consisting of a consider- 
able fleet and a large body of horse, to bring Malcolm the 
king of the Scots to submission ; but before he reached Scot- 
land, a few days before the feast of St. Michael, nearly all 
the ships were sunk, and many of his horsemen perished from 

* Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, b. viii. c. xxii. 

A.D. 1091.] PEACE WITU MALCOLM. 193 

cold and hunger. He was met by king ^Malcolm, with his 
army, in the provinces of Lothian.^ Earl Robert perceiving 
this, iHvited over Edgar the etheling, who having been ex- 
pelled from Normandy by king William was then living with 
the king of the Scots. By his assistance he concluded a peace 
between tlie two kings, on the terms that Malcolm should do 
fealty to William in the same manner his father had done, and 
that William should restore to Malcolm twelve vills Avhich he 
had held under his father, and should pay him, yearly, twelve 
marks of gold. But the peace concluded between them was 
of sliort duration. Edgar himself was also reconciled with 
the king througli the earl's mediations. 

Winchcomhe Church struck hy Lightning. 

On Wednesday the first of the ides [the 15th] of October, 
a thunderbolt struck with great force the tower of Winch- 
combe church, making a large aperture in the wall near the 
summit, and, after having riven one of the beams, struck the 
head from a crucifix and threw it on the ground, breaking 
also tlie riglit leg. An image of St. Mary, which stood near 
the crucifix, was also struck down. A thick smoke, with a 
suifoeating stench, then burst forth and filled the whole 
church, lasting until the monks went the circuit of the cham- 
bers of the monastery, with holy water and incense, and 
the relics of the saints, chanting psalms. Moreover, on Fri- 
day the sixteenth of the calends of November [IGth October] 
a violent whirlwhind from the south-west shook and demo- 
lished more than six hundred houses and a great number of 
churches in London. Kusiiing through the church of St. 
Mary, called " le Bow," it killed two men, and tearing up 
the roof and timbers, and whirling them for a long time to 
and fio in the air, at last drove six of the rafters, in the same 
order in which they were before fixed in the roofs, so deep 
into the earth that only the seventh or eighth part of tliem 
was visible, although they were twenty-seven or twenty-eight 
feet lonfc. 


' Loldis ; not " the district of Leods,*' as siigi^ested in a note of the 
Enomrii IIisTOKiCAL Society's cditiou of Florence. See Ordericus 
Vitalis, vol. iii , j). 10. 


194 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1091, 1092. 

After this the king returned from Northumbria into Wessex 
through Mercia, and kept the earl with him until nearly 
Christma?, but refused to fulfil the conditions of the treaty 
which had been made between them ; at which the earl was 
so much dissatisfied that he hastened back to Normandy on 
the tenth of the calends of January [23rd December], taking 
Edgar the etheling with him. 

[TAe Pope and Antipope Urban II. and Clemens?^ 

There were at this time, as was- reported in England, two 
popes of Rome, so called, who opposed each other, and made 
a schism in the church of God, namely, Urban, whose original 
name was Odo, bishop of Ostia, and Clement, wlio was called 
Guibert, archbishop of Ravenna. This affair so perplexed 
the church of England for many years, to say nothing of other 
parts of the world, that from the time of the death of Gregory, 
who was also called Hildebrand, up to this period, it yielded 
submission and obedience to no one claiming to be pope. 
Italy and Gaul had already acknowledged Urban as the vicar 
of St. Peter. 

[a.D. 1092.] The city of London was almost entirely 
destroyed by fire. On Monday the nones [the 5th] of April, 
Osmund, bishop of Salisbury, assisted by Walkelin, bishop of 
Winchester, and John, bishop of Bath, consecrated the church 
which he had built in the castle of Sarum. Remi, who by 
license from William the Elder had transferred the seat of his 
bishopric from Dorchester to Lincoln, was desirous of conse- 
crating the church which he had built at Lincoln, worthy 
indeed to be the cathedral of a bishop's see,^ because he felt 
that the day of his death was at hand ; but Thomas, arch- 
bishop of York, opposed him, asserting that the church was 
built within his diocese. However, king William the younger, 
for a sum of money paid to him by Remi, summoned nearly 
all the bishops of England to assemble together on the twen- 
tieth of the ides [the 9th] of May, and dedicate the church ; 
but two days before the time fixed, by the mysterious provi- 
dence of God, bishop Remi himself departed from the world, 
and in consequence the consecration of the church was de- 
ferred. After this the king went into Northumbria, and 
* Cf. Henr^ of Huntingdon, pp. 219, 220, Antiq. Lib. 

A.D. 1002, 1093.] WILLIAM II.'S ILLNESS. 195 

restored tlie city wliicli is called in the British tongue Cairleii, 
and in Latin Lugubalia (Carlisle), and built a castle there ; for 
this city, like some others in that quarter, had been laid in 
ruins by the heathen Danes two hundred years before, and 
had been uninhabited up to this time. 

[a.d. 1093.] King William the younger being seize<l 
with severe illness, at the royal vill called Alveston, hastily 
removed to Gloucester, and lay there in a languishing con- 
dition during the whole of Lent. Thinking that death was 
near, he vowed to God, at the suggestions of his barons, to 
amend his life, to relinquish the practice of selling, and im- 
posing taxes on, churches, but, on the contrary, to protect 
them by his royal authority ; and, annulling unjust laws, enact 
those such as were good. Moreover, he gave to Anselm, abbot 
of Bee, who was then in England, the archbishopric of Can- 
terbury, and to Robert, surnamed Bloet, his chancellor, the 
bishopric of Lincoln. But Anselm Mas not permitted to 
receive anything from the archbishopric beyond what the king 
allowed, until the annual rent which he had received from it 
since Lanfranc's death was fully paid. 

Kliys, king of Wales, was slain in battle during Easter-week, 
near Brecknock castle. From that day kings ceased to reign in 
AVales.^ ^Malcolm, king of the Scots, met king William the 
younger at Gloucester, on the day of the feast of St. Bar- 
tholomew the apostle, as they had previously concerted 
tln-ough their ambassadors, in order that peace being restored, 
there might be a firm alliance between them, agreeably to the 
wishes of some of the principal English nobles. But they 
separated without coming to any agreement ; for William's 
pride and insolence was such, that he refused to have any 
interview and conference with Malcolm. Moreover, he sought 
to compel him to do him homage in his own court, and abide^he 
judgment of his own barons only ; but ^laleolm was by no means 
disposed to do this, excei)t on the borders of his own kingdonj, 
where the kings of Scotland were wont to do homage to the 

' Rhys-ap-Te\v(l\vr, the last kin^-, properly so called, of South Wales, 
died at the i\<i;c of yi), fio^htin;; for the independence of his country, on 
the lilaek Mountain.s, near lirecknock, ad, 1():)1. accordint; to War- 
rington. Th" country was then finally parcelled out among the 
Norman Lord-Wardens and inferior Welsh chiefs; Ilhys's sou never 
having been able to establish his rights. 



kings of England, and according to tlie judgment of tlie 
barons of both kingdoms. After this a very wonderful sign 
appeared in the sun ; and Roger, earl of Shrewsbury, Guy, 
abbot of St. Augustine's monastery, and Paul, abbot of St. 
Alban's, died. In the same year also died Robert, earl of 
Flanders, a man of great valour ; and his eldest son Robert 
succeeded him. 

Malcolm, king of the Scots, and his eldest son, Edward, 
with many others, were slain by the troops of Robert, earl of 
Northumbria, on the feast-day of St. Brice [13th November]. | 
Margaret, queen of the Scots, was so deeply affected by the 
news of their death, that she fell dangerously ill. Calling the 
priests to attend her without delay, she went into the church, 
and confessing her sins to them, caused herself to be anointed 
with oil and strengthened with the heavenly viaticum ; be- 
seeching God with earnest and diligent prayers that he would 
not suffer her to live longer in this troublesome world. Nor 
was it very long before her prayers were heard, for three 
days after the king's death she was released from the bonds 
of the flesh, and translated, as we doubt not, to the joys of 
eternal salvation. For while she lived, she devoted herself 
to the exercise of piety, justice, peace, and charity ; she was 
frequent in prayer, and chastened her body by watchings and 
fastings ; she endowed churches and monasteries ; loved and 
reverenced the servants and handmaids of God ; broke bread 
to the hungr}'-, clothed the naked, gave shelter, food, and 
raiment to all the pilgrims who came to her door ; and loved 
God with all her heart.^ After her death the Scots elected 
for their king, Donald, brother of king Malcolm, and expelled 
from Scotland all the English who belonged to the king's 
court. Duncan, king Malcolm's son, hearing of these events, 
besought king- William, in whose army he then served, to 
grant him his father's kingdom, and obtaining his request 
swore fealty to him. He then hastened to Scotland, with a 
host of English and Normans, and expelling his uncle Donald 
reigned in his stead. Thereupon some of the Scots banded 
together and slew nearly all his men, a few only escaping 
with him. But afterwards they restored him to the throne, 
on condition that he should no longer harbour either Eng- 

^ Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, vol. ii., p. 11. 
2 Ibid, pp. 12, 13. 

A.D. 1093, 1094.] William's designs on normaxdy. 197 

lishmen or Xonuans in Scotland, and permit them to serve in 
liis army. 

Xearlv all the bishops of England being assembled, with 
Thomas, archbishop of York, the primate, they consecrated 
Anselm, abbot of Bee, as archbishop [of Canterbury], on the 
day before the nones [the 4th] of December. In the same 
year, William, count d'Eu, won over by his greediness of lucre, 
and attracted by the promise of vast domains, deserted his 
natural lord, Robert, earl of Normandy, to whom he had 
sworn fealty, and coming to king William in England, trans- 
ferred his allegiance to that powerful seducer. 

[a.d. 1094.] On the death of Herfast, who had been a 
chaplain to earl William and afterwards to king William, and 
in process of time bishop of Thetford, and the deatli also cf 
William, his successor, Herbert, surnamed Losing, for his 
address in flattery, from being prior of Fecamp and abbot of 
Ramsey, became by purchase bishop of Thetford ; and his 
father Robert, of the same surname, became intrusive abbot 
of Winchester. But he was absolved by penitence from the 
errors of hi.s faults ; for going to Rome in n)ore mature years 
he there laid down his simoniacal staff and ring, which were 
restored to him by the indulgence of that most merciful see. 
Returning home, he transferred the seat of his bishopric to a 
town celebrated as a i)lace of trade and general resort, called 
Norwich, and founded there a convent of monks. 

King William went to Hastings, and while there caused the 
church of Battle to be dedicated ; and then crossing over to 
Normandy had a conference with his brother, under a safe 
conduct, but came away without being reconciled to him, and 
the earl went to Rouen. The king returned to Eu, and 
establishing himself there, took soldiers into his pay from all 
quarters, and induced several of the Norman nobles to forfeit 
tlieir allegiance to his brother, and place their castles in his 
power, some by promises, others by gifts of gold, silver, and 
lands; and having secured their consent, he distributed liis 
own troops among tlie castles which he already held, or those 
which were now made over to him. Meanwhile, he took the 
castle of Bures, and sent some of the earl's soldiers who were 
taken there j)risoners to England, and contined the rest in 
Normandy. Thus he harassed his brother in various ways, 
and used his utmost efforts to dej)rive him of his inheritance. 

198 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1094, 1095. 

The earl, driven to extremity, brought his suzerain, king 
Phihp, with a French army into Normandy, who laid siege 
to the castle of Argentan, and on the very day he sat down 
before it, took seven hundred of the king's knights prisoners, 
with as many squires, and the whole garrison of the place, 
without loss of blood. He then returned to France, having 
given orders that the prisoners should be detained in custody 
until they paid their respective ransoms. Earl Robert also 
besieged the castle called Holme, until William Peverel and 
eight hundred men who defended it surrendered to him. 
When the king was informed of this, he sent messengers to 
England with orders that twenty thousand foot soldiers should 
be levied and despatched to his aid in Normandy. They were 
mustered at Hastings, in readiness for crossing the sea, but 
Ralph Passe-Flambard, by the king's command, withheld the 
pay which had been allotted for their maintenance, at the 
rate of ten-pence for each man, and gave them orders to 
return to their homes: the money he remitted to the king. 
Meanwhile, all England was distressed by heavy and con- 
stant taxation, and by a mortality which was very general in 
this and the following year. 

In addition to this, first the people of North Wales, and 
then those of West and South Wales, threw off the yoke of 
subjection under which they had long suffered, and rallying 
tlieir courage struggled to obtain their independence. As- 
sembling in great numbers, they razed the castles which had 
been erected in West Wales, and making frequent irruptions 
into the counties of Chester, Shrewsbury, and Hereford, set 
fire to and plundered the vills, and killed many of the English 
and Normans. They also demolished the castle in the Isle of 
Man, and reduced the island under their power. Meanwhile, 
the Scots perfidiously murdered their king, Duncan, and some 
others, at the instigation of Donald, who was again raised to 
the throne. After this, king William returned to England, 
on the fourth of the calends of January [29th December], and, 
leading an army into Wales to subdue the Welsh, lost there 
many men and horses. 

[a.D. 1095.] Wulfstan, the venerable bishop of the holy 
cliurch of Worcester, a man eminent for the excellence of his 
life, and devoted from his youth to divine offices, after many 
severe and holy struggles, by which he zealously served God 

A.D. 1C9j.] death of wulfstan. 199 

with great mental devotion and humility, that he might attain 
to the glory of the kingdom of heaven, departed this life in 
tlie night of Saturday, the eighteenth of January, about the 
middle of the seventli hour, and in the year 5299 from the 
beginning of the world, according to the undoubted reckoning 
of Holy Scripture, in the 529th year of the ninth great cycle, 
and the 47Cth of tlie ninth cycle from the beginning of the 
vrorld ; in tlie 1084th from the passion of our Lord, but the 
lOGOth according to Bede's computation, and the 1061st ac- 
cording to Dionysius ; in the 741st^ from the arrival of the 
Angles in Britain ; in the 498th from the arrival of St. 
Augustine ;"'* in the I0.'3rd from the death of St. Oswald, the 
archbishop ;^ in the 302nd of the eleventh great paschal cycle, 
and in the 502nd of the tenth from tiie beginning of the 
world ; in the 4th of the second solar cycle, in the 3rd of the 
bissextile cycle, in the 13th of the second cycle of nineteen 
years, in the 10th of the second lunar cycle, in the fifth 
endecad, in the third cycle of the indiction, in the eighteenth 
lustre of liis own age, and in the 3rd year of the seventh 
lustrum of his episcopate."* 

In the very hour of his departure he wonderfully appeared 
in a vision to a friend whom he had especially loved, llobert, 
bishop of Hereford, in the town of Cricklade, and enjoined 
him to hasten to Worcester to perform his obsequies. Also, 
(iod suffered no man to remove from his finsier the rinq; with 
which he had received episcopal consecration, that the holy 
man might not appear to forfeit his engagement to his people, 
to whom he had often foretold that he would never part with 
it during his life, nor even on the day of his burial. 

On the day before the nones [the 4th] of April, stars were 
seen to fall, as it were, in the heavens. Walter, bishop of 
Albano, a legate of the holy Koman cliurch, sent by })ope 
Urban, came to England before Easter, bringing the pallium 

' It should be the 641st, a.d. 450. 

' A.D. 507. 

» A n. 9!)2. 

* " The above numerous dGterminations of the period of Wulfstan's 
death are porliaps to he accounted lor hy the circumstance of his con- 
nection with till' monastery to whicli Fh^n nc? himself helonged. Of 
some the accuracy is doubtful ; others are manifestly inaccurate. 
Wharton, in a note on the subject, says, 'Multiplex in iiisce numeris 
error deprehcndi potest.' Auylia Sacra, ii., p. 270." — Thorpe. 


for which king William had sent the preceding year ; and 
according to agreement it was laid by him on the altar of St. 
Saviour's at Canterbury, from whence it was taken by Anselm 
and humbly kissed by all present, in reverence to St. Peter. 
Robert, bishop of Hereford, a man of eminent piety, died on 
Tuesday the sixth of the calends of July [26th June]. Wulf- 
stan, the before-mentioned bishop of Worcester, appeared to 
him for the second time in a vision on the thirtieth day after 
his departure from the world, and sharply reproved him for 
sloth and negligence, admonishing him to apply himself with 
the utmost vigilance to the reformation of his own life and of 
those he governed ; and he said, that if he did this he might 
speedily obtain pardon from Grod for all his sins ; adding that 
he would not long fill the see in which he then sat, but if he 
would be more zealous, he should feast with him in the pre- 
sence of God. For these two were mutually united in the 
bonds of exceeding love to Grod and to each other ; and it is, 
therefore, natural to think that he who had first departed out 
of this life to God, should exhibit his concern for his best 
beloved friend whom he had left behind in this world, and 
should labour that they might both as soon as possible rejoice 
together in the presence of God. 

Revolt of the Barons in the North. 

Robert de Mowbray, earl of Northumberland, and William 
d'Eu, with many others, attempted to deprive king William 
of his kingdom and life, and to make Stephen d'Aumale, the 
son of his aunt, king in his place, but without success ; for 
as soon as the plot was known, the king assembled his army 
from every part of England and besieged the castle of the 
said earl Robert, which stood at the mouth of the river Tyne, 
for two months. During this siege he reduced a small fort, 
in which he took nearly all the earl's best soldiers and put 
them into confinement ; he then stormed the besieged castle 
itself, and committed to close custody the earl's brother, and 
the knights he found in it. After this he built a fort before 
Beban-byrig, that is, the Burg of queen Bebba,^ where the 
earl had sought refuge, and calling it Malvoisin, he placed a 

^ Bamborough castle. Cf. the account given by Ordericus Vitalis, 
b. viii. c. xxiii. vol. iii,, pp. 19, &c. 

A.D. 1095, 1090.] REVOLT IN THE NORTH. 201 

garrison in it, and returned to tlie country south of tlie 
Huniber. After his departure the wardens of Newcastle 
promised earl Robert to "five him admission into the fortress, 
if he could come by stealth. Joyfully accepting this proposal, 
he set forth one night with thirty troopers to accomplish his 
design. On discovering this, the knights who kept guard 
against the castle [of Bamborough] went in pursuit and 
despatched messengers to inform the garrison of Newcastle of 
his departure. In ignorance of these movements, Robert 
made liis attempt on Sunday, but the enterprise failed be- 
cause it was anticipated. He therefore took refuge in the 
monastery of St. Oswin, king and martyr, where, on the 
sixth day of the siege, he received a severe wound in the leg 
while he was resisting the enemy, of whom many were killed 
and many wounded. Of his own men some were wounded, 
and all made prisoners ; he himself fled to the chureli, 
from which he was drasrsred fortli and delivered into custodv. 
Meanwhile, the Welsh demolished the castle of Montgomery, 
and killed in it some of the retainers of Hugh earl of Shrews- 
bury ; at which the king was so incensed that he issued 
orders for an expedition, and after the feast of St. INIichael 
led his army into Wales, wliere he lost many men and horses. 
Returning thence, he ordered earl Robert to be committed 
to Bamborough castle, and his eyes put out unless his 
wife and his kinsman, 3Iorcal, surrendered the castle ; and, 
compelled by extreme necessity, they yielded to the summons. 
The earl was taken to Windsor and j)laced in close confine- 
ment, and Morcal disclosed the cause of his treason to the 

[a.d. 1090.] William, bishop of Durham, died at Windsor 
in the king's court, on Wednesday, being the calends [the 
1st] of January, but he was buried at Durham. On the 
octave of the Epiphany [13th Jaiuiary] a council was held at 
Salisbury, at which the king condemned William d'Eu, who 
had been vanquished in a duel, to lose his eyes and to be 
emasculated, and the earl's steward, William d'Alderi, the son 
of his aunt, and ])rivy to his treason, to be hanged. He also 
placed in custody Eudes, count of Champagne, the father of 
the aforesaid Stephen, IMiilij), son of Roger, earl of Shrews- 
bury ; and some others who were accomplices in the re- 


\_Cou7icil of Clermont, and the Crusade. 1 

Pope Urban came into France, and held in Lent a council 
at Clermont,^ at which he exhorted the Christians to go to 
Jerusalem and subdue the Turks, Saracens, Turvopoles, and 
other pagans. At this exhortation, and during the council, 
Raymond,^ count of St. Giles, took the cross, and many 
others with him, and vowed that they would undertake the 
pilgrimage, for God's sake, and accomplish what the pope 
had recommended. This being noised abroad, the rest of the 
people of Christendom, in Italy, Germany, France, and Eng- 
land, vied with each other in preparing to join the expedition. 
Their leaders were Adhemar bishop of Puy, the bishop of 
Ostia, with many other bishops, Peter the monk, Hugh the 
Great, brother of Philip king of France, Godfrey,^ duke of 
Lorraine, Stephen, count of Chartres, Robert, earl of Nor- 
mandy, Robert, earl of Flanders, the two brothers of duke 
Godfrey, Eustace, count of Boulogne, and Baldwin, the 
before-named count Raymond, and Bohemond, son of Robert 

Samson was consecrated bishop of Worcester by Anselm, 
archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday the seventeenth of July 
[i5th June], at London, in St. Paul's church. 

l^Rohert CurtJiose mortgages Normandy to his h'other.^ 

After this, Robert, earl of Normandy, proposing to join the 
crusade to Jerusalem, sent envoys to England, and reqilested 
his brother, king William, that, peace being restored between 
them, he would lend him ten thousand silver marks, receiving 
Normandy in pledge. The king, wishing to grant his request, 
called on the great English lords to assist him with money, 
each according to his means, as speedily as possible. There- 
fore, the bishops, abbots, and abbesses broke up the gold and 
silver ornaments of their churches ; and the earls, barons, and 

^ It was in the year 1095, and not in Lent, but in the month of 
Novembei'jthat pope Urban II. held the celebrated council at Clermont. 
He arrived there on the 14th or 15th of that month, opened the 
council on the 18th, and closed it on the 28th. 

^ Raymond of Tholouse. 

^ Godfrey de Bouillon. 

A.D. 1097, 1098.] EXPEDITION TO WALES. 203 

viscounts robbed their knights and villeins, and brought to 
the king a large sum of money. With this he crossed the sea 
in the month of September, made peace with his brother, 
advanced him six thousand six hundred and sixty-six pounds, 
and received from him Normand)' as a security for its repay- 

[a.d. 1097.] William, king of England, returned to Eng- 
land during Lent, and after Easter [5th April] he undertook 
a second expedition into Wales, with an army of horse and 
foot, vowing that he would exterminate the whole male popu- 
lation ; but he was scarcely able to take or kill one of them, 
while he lost some of his own troops and many horses. After 
this he sent Edgar the etheling with an army to Scotland, to 
expel his uncle Donald, who had usurped the throne, and 
establish his cousin Edgar, son of king Malcohn, king in his 

The Christians took the city of Nice on Saturday the thir- 
teenth of the calends of July [1 9th June]. A star called a 
comet was visible for fifteen days from the third of the 
calends of October [29th September]. Some affirmed that 
they saw at that time in the heavens a strange and, as it were, 
flaming sign, in the shape of a cross. Soon afterwards a 
quarrel took place between the king and Ansel m, archbishop 
of Canterbury, because from the time of his being made 
archbishop he had not been suffered to hold a synod, nor to 
correct the evil practices which had grown up in all parts of 
England. He, therefore, crossed the sea, and after sojourning 
for a time in France, went to pope Urban at Rome. The 
king himself left England for Normandy about the feast of 
St. Andrew [30th November]. Baldwin, abbot of the monas- 
tery of St. Edmund, who was born in France, a man of 
eminent piety and a skilful physician, died in a good old age, 
on Tuesday the fourth of the calends of January [29th De- 
cember], and lies l)uried in the middle of the choir of the 
principal church. 

[a.d. 1098.] Walkelin, bishop of Winchester, died on Sun- 
day the third of the nones [the .3rd] of January. Also, 
Thorold, abbot of Peterborough, and Robert, abbot of West- 
uiinster, died. In the summer, king William the younger 
l>rought the city of Mans and a great part of that province 
under his domiiuon by force of arms. 


Meanwhile, Hugh, earl of Chester, and Hugh, earl of 
Shrewsbury, led troops into the Isle of Anglesey, and mas- 
sacred many of the Welsh whom they took in the island, and 
put out the eyes of others, having first cut off their hsmds 
and feet, and emasculated them. They also dragged from 
his church a priest named Kenred, from whom the Welsh 
received counsel on their undertakings, and having emascu- 
lated him and put out one of his e^ es, they cut off his tongue ; 
but on the third day, by the mercy of Grod, his speech was 
restored to him. At that time Magnus, king of Norway, son 
of king Olaf, who was son of king Harold Harfaagar,^ having 
added the Orkney and Menavian islands to his dominions, 
sailed there with a small fleet. But when he attempted to 
bring his ships to land, Hugh, earl of Shrewsbury, met him 
with a large body of men-at-arms on the strand of the sea- 
shore, and, as it is reported, fell by an arrow discharged by 
the king's own hand on the seventh day after he had treated 
the priest just mentioned with such barbarity. 

The city of Antioch was taken by the Christians on Wed- 
nesday the third of the nones [the 3rd] of June ; where, 
after a few days, the spear with which the Saviour of the 
world was pierced when hanging on the cross, was discovered 
in the church of St. Peter the apostle, by a revelation 
from St. Andrew the apostle, the most merciful of saints. 
Encouraged by this discovery, the Christians marched out 
of the city, carrying it with them, on Monday the fourth 
of the calends of July [28th June], and giving battle to the 
pagans, put to flight at the point of the sword Curbaran, 
commander of the forces of the soldan of Persia, and the 
Turks, Arabs, Saracens, Publicans, Azimates, Persians, Agu- 
lans, and many other nations ; gaining, by God's aid, a signal 
victory, and having slain many thousands of the enemy. 

There was an unusual light in the heavens, which shone 
during nearly the whole of the night of the fifth of the 
calends of October [27th September]. The same year the 
bones of the king and martyr Canute were disinterred and 
placed in a shrine with great reverence. Roger, duke of 

' Magnus IH., king of Norway, was son of Harold Hardraada. For 
details of his expeditions to the isles, and particularly of that in which 
Hugh earl of Shrewsbury fell, see Odericus Vitalis, b. x. c. vi. and 
the notes in pp. 216, &;c. of vol. HI. in the Antiq. Lib. 

A.D. 1098, 1099.] COUNCILS AT ROME AND BARI. 20.3 

Apulia, having assembled a large army, besieged the city of 
(Jai)ua, wiiicli had revolted from his government. Pope 
Urban, accompanied, in obedience to his command, by Anselm, 
archbishop of Canterbury, went to the council which he had 
convened at Bari on the calends [the 1st] of October; in 
which council many articles of the Catholic faith were treated 
of by the apostolical pope with eloquent reasoning. A ques- 
tion being also raised by the Greeks, who endeavoured to 
j)rov^e, on evangelical authority, that the Holy Sjiirit proceeds 
from the Father alone, Anselm so handled, discussed, and ex- 
hausted the subject, that there was no one in the assembly 
who did not admit that he was fully satisfied. 

[a.d. 1099.] Pope Urban held a great council at Home 
in the third week of Easter [10th April], in which some 
decrees were justly repealed, and new ones made against the 
adversaries of holy church, and the pope, with the unani- 
mous agreement of the council, launched a sentence of ex- 
conununication against all laymen giving ecclesiastical investi- 
tures, and all who received them at their hands, as well as 
against those who should consecrate any one for preferment 
so given. He also excommunicated all those who did homage 
to laymen for any ecclesiastical dignity ; for he said that it 
was horrible that hands which had been so highly honoured, 
above the ministrations of angels, as to create, by their touch, 
God, the Creator of all things, and offer him for the re- 
demption and salvation of the whole world before God the 
Father, should be debased so low as to be humbly linked in 
hands which night and day are polluted by immodest con- 
tacts, or defiled by ra|)ine and the unrighteous shedding of 
blood. " Fiat, fiat" [Be it so], was the general exclama- 
tion ; and so the council ended. After this, the archbishop 
proceeded to Lyons. 

William the younger returned from Normandy to England, 
and held his court at Whitsuntide in London. He there gave 
the bishopric of Durham to Ranulph, a man whom he had made 
the instrument of his extortions throughout England. Thomas, 
archbishop of York, shortly afterwiirds consecrated him there. 

Jerusalem was taken by the Turks on Thursday the ides 
[the l.Jth] of July. The Christians fouglit a battle with 
Amiravis, the connnander of the army and second in power 
over the whole kingdom of Babylon, the day before the idea 

206 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1099, 1100. 

[the 12th] of August, on the same day of the week, and, 
through Christ's mercy, obtained the victory. Paschal, a 
venerable man, who had been ordained priest by pope Hilde- 
brand, was elected pope by the people of Rome on the ides 
[the 13th] of August, and was consecrated on the following 
day, Sunday the nineteenth of the calends of September [14tli 
August]. On the third of the nones [the 3rd] of November, 
the sea overflowed the shore, destroying towns, and drowning 
many persons, and innumerable oxen and sheep. Osmund, 
bishop of Salisbury, died on Friday the third of the nones 
[the 3rd] of December. 

[a.D. 1100.] Pope Clement, who was also called Guibert, 
died. On Sunday the ides [the 15th] of July, the church 
which abbot Serlo, of pious memory, had built from the 
foundations at Gloucester, was consecrated with great cere- 
mony by bishops Samson, of Worcester, Gundulph, of Roches- 
ter, Gerard, of Hereford, and Hervey, of Bangor. 

[^William Rufus slam.^ 

On Thursday, the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of August, 
in the eighth indiction, William the younger, king of England, 
while hunting in the New Forest, which is called in English 
Ytene, was killed by an arrow, carelessly aimed by a French- 
man, Walter, surriamed Tirel;^ and being carried to Winches- 
ter he was buried in the old minster, in the church of St. 
Peter. Nor can it be wondered that, as common report states, 
almighty power and vengeance should have been thus dis- 
played. For in former times, that is, during the reigns of king 
Edward and other kings of England, his predecessors, tins 
tract of land was thickly planted with churches and with 
inhabitants who were worshippers of God ; but by command 
of king William the elder the people were expelled, the 
houses half ruined, the churches pulled down, and the land 
made an habitation for wild beasts only ; and hence, as it is 
believed, arose this mischance. For Richard, the brother of 
William the younger, had perished long before in the same 
forest, and a short time previously his cousin Richard, the son 
of Robert, earl of Normandy, was also killed by an arrow by 

' Cf. Ordericus Vitalis, b. x. c, xiv., and the notes, for fuller 
details of the eii ciimstances attending the eath of William Rufus, 
and the history of Walter Tirel. 


one of his knights, while ho was hunting. A church, built 
in the old times, had stood on the spot where the king fell, 
but, as we have already said, it was destroyed in the time of 
his father. 

During the reign of this king, as we have partly mentioned 
above, many signs appeared in the sun, moon, and stars ; the 
sea often overflowed its banks, drowning men and cattle, and 
destroying many vills and houses; in the district of Berkshire, 
blood flowed from a fountain for three weeks ; and the devil 
frequently appeared in the woods under a horrible form to 
many Normans, and discoursed largely to them respecting the 
king, and Ranulph, and some otliers. Nor is it to be won- 
dered at ; for in their time law was almost silent, and monev 
only weighed with the judges in all causes brought before 
them. At that time some men obeyed the king's will rather 
than justice, and Ranulpii, contrary to ecclesiastical law and the 
rules of his order, for lie was a priest, received from the king, 
first abbeys, and then bislioprics, wliose holders had recently 
died, to let to farm; and thereout he paid the king every year 'a 
largo sum of money. His cunning and shrewdness were such, 
and in a short time he so grew in the king's favour, that he 
appointed him his pleader and collector of toxes throughout 
the kingdom.^ Possessed of this immense power, he mulct 
some of the wealthier sort in various parts of England of their 
goods and lands, while he incessantly iiarassed those who were 
in poorer circumstances with unjust taxes. Thus did he on 
both high and low in various ways, — both before he was made 
a bisho]) and afterwards, — and this up to the time of the king's 
death, for on the very day he died he held in his own hands 
the archbishopric of Canterbury and the bishoprics of Win- 
chester and Salisbury. William the younger reigned thirteen 
years, wanting thirty-eight days ; his youngest brother Henry 
succeeded liim, and was forthwith crowned at Westminster 
by Maurice, bishop of London, on tlie nones [the 5th] of 
August. On the day of his consecration he gave freedom to 
the church of God, which in his brother's time was jnit up to 
sale and let to farm; he discontinued the exaction of the un- 

' All the Chronicles dvvrll on tho c-liaracter of this shrowd but un- 
principled lawyer. Soo Honry of ]Juntingdon. pp. t33S and 310, 
^/(^/r;. ///6.; Ordoricus Vitalis, /6ic/, vol. iii., p. 279; and William of 
Malmesbury, ibid, p. 336. 


just dues and oppressive taxes with which the kingdom of 
P^ngland was burthened, and firmly established peace in his 
dominions, and ordered it to be preserved; he restored the 
laws of king Edward to all in common, with such amendments 
as his father had made, but he retained in his own hands the 
forests which he made and possessed. Not long afterwards 
he committed to custody in the Tower of London, Ranulph, 
bishop of, and recalled Anselm, archbishop of Can- 
terbury, from France. 

Meanwhile, Robert, earl of Flanders, and Eustace, count of 
Boulogne, came back from Jerusalem. Then Robert, earl of 
Xormandy, returned to his own country with the wife he had 
married in Sicily.^ In the interim, Henry, king of England, con- 
voked the great English lords at London, and married Matilda, 
daughter of Malcolm, king of Scots, and queen Margaret; and 
she was crowned and consecrated queen by Anselm, archbishop 
of Canterbury, on the feast of St. Martin, being Sunday. 
Thomas, archbishop of York, a man of eminent piety, whose 
memory was held in great veneration, and who was affable 
and beloved by all, departed this life at York, on Sunday, the 
fourteenth of the calends of December [18th November], and 
was succeeded by Gerard, bishop of Hereford. 

[a.D. 1101.] Ranulph, bishop of Durham, made his escape 
fiom prison after Christmas with great address, and crossing 
the sea, went to Robert, earl of Normandy, and jDersuaded 
him to appear in arms in England.^ Many also of the nobles 
of this country sent messengers to him and entreated him 
speedily to come over, promising him the crown and kingdom 
of England. The city of Gloucester w^as destroyed by fire, 
with the principal monastery and others, on Thursday the 
eighth of the ides [the 6th] of June. 

Expedition of Robert Ciirthose to England. 

Robert, earl of Normandy, having raised a large body of 
horsemen, archers, and foot soldiers, assembled his ships, called 

' It should be Apulia. Robert married Sibylla, daughter of 
Geoffrey de Conversana, near Bari, who was nephew of Robert 
Guiscard. See Orderic. Vital. ; vol. iii., pp 256, 257. The duchess 

SibvUa died much lamented by the Normans, in Lent, 1103 Ibid, 

p. 343. 

2 Ibid, p. 281, 287. 

A.D. 1101] Robert's expedition to England. 209 

in the Norman tongue Ultres-port.^ The king, receiving 
intelligence of this, ordered his bouts-carles^ to guard the sea, 
and to watch that no one approached tlie coast of England 
from Normandy ; while he himself, having collected an im- 
mense army from every part of England, encamped near 
Hastings in Sussex, concluding for certain that his brother 
would land in that quarter. The earl, however, by the advice 
of bishop Ralph, so tampered with the fidelity of some of the 
king's boats-carles, by promises of various kinds, that throwing 
otf their allegiance, they deserted to the earl, and became his 
pilots to England. All being ready, he embarked with his 
army, and about the Feast of St. Peter ad Vincula [1st August] 
landed at Portsmouth, and, immediately marching his army 
towards Winchester, pitched his camp on a suitable spot. 
Immediately that his arrival was known, some of the English 
nobles w^ent over to him as they had before promised, others 
remained with the king, although in heart they were faithless 
to him. The bishops, however, with the common soldiers 
and English people, stood by him resolutely, and were ready to 
a man to be led to battle for his cause. But the wiser men on 
both sides, agreeing in sound counsels, mediated a peace be- 
tween the brothers, on the terms that the king should pay to 
the earl yearly three thousand marks, that is tw^o thousand 
pounds in silver, and should freely restore their former do- 
mains in England to all who had forfeited them by their 
adherence to the earl ; and that the earl should reinstate in 
their possessions in Normandy, without cost, all who had been 
deprived of them on the king's account. Peace being restored, 
the king disbanded his army, and part of the earl's troops 
returned to Normandy, and part remained with him in 

Godfrey, king of Jerusalem, who was before the powerful 
duke of TiOrraine, son of Eustace the Elder, count of 
IJoulogne, departed this life and lies buried in the church of 
Golgotlia.^ After his death the Christians unanimously 

' Tr(''port. 

* Butse-carles: [An;;. Sax. butse, or bates-carles, from hat, a boat, 
and carl, or ceorl ;] the boatmen of the Cinque-ports, and other 
harbours in the channel. Our author snbseijuently usrs the phrase 
for mariners generally, the boats-carles being pre3?«ed or enlisted into 
the kin^^'s naval servicre. 

^ The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, at Jerusalem. 


210 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1101, 1102. 

elected his brother, Baldwin, king. Eobert de Belesme, earl 
of Shrewsbury, son of earl Koger, began to repair and sur- 
round with a broad and lofty wall (as the issue proved, to 
oppose king Henry) the castle which Ethelfeda, lady of the 
Mercians, had formerly built in the reign of her brother 
Edward the Elder, at a place called in the Saxon tongue 
Brycge [Bridgnorth], on the west bank of the river Severn. 
He also commenced building another castle in Wales at a 
place called Caroclove. 

[^Robert de Belesme s B,ebellion.~\ 

[a.D. 1102.] The before-mentioned Robert, earl of Belesme, 
who was then master of the county of Ponthieu also, and 
possessed a great number of castles in Normandy, strongly 
fortified against king Henry the town of Shrewsbury and the 
castle which stands in it ; and also the castles of Arundel and 
Tickhill, supplying them with provisions, engines, and arms, 
and stationing in them knights and foot-soldiers. He also 
hastened, by all the means in his power, the completion of the 
walls and towers of the castles of Brycge and Caroclove, 
havino: the works carried on night and day. Moreover, in 
order to rouse his Welsh vassals to a ready, faithful, and 
willing submission to his orders, he bestowed on them 
liberally lordships and lands, horses and arms, and all kinds of 
largesses. But his plans and operations were speedily cut 
short, for his plots and designs being made manifest by sure 
evidence, the king proclaimed him a traitor. Thereupon, 
having quickly assembled all the Welshmen and Normans 
he could collect, he and his brother Arnulph ravaged part of 
Staffordshire, and carried off into Wales many horses and 
cattle, and some few men. The king, without delay, besieged 
first his castle of Arundel, and having built forts against it, 
retired. He then ordered Robert, bishop of Lincoln, with 
part of his troops to lay siege to Tickhill, while he himself, with 
nearly the whole military force of England, sat down before 
Bridgnorth, and began to construct machines and erect a strong 
fort before it. Meanwhile, by moderate bribes he easily in- 
duced the Welsh, in whom Robert placed great confidence, to 
break the oaths they had sworn to him, and utterly desert him 
and turn their arms against him. The town [of Shrewsbury] 


and all the castles having been surrendered within thirty days, 
he reduced his enemy Robert to submit, and drove him from 
England in disgrace : his brother Arnulph was shortly after- 
wards condemned to a similar fate for his treason.^ 

[A Synod held at London.^ 

After this the king was in London on the Feast of St. 
Michael, at his palace of Westminster, with all the great men 
of his realm of both orders, spiritual and temporal, where he 
invested two of the clergy with bishoprics, namely, Roger, the 
chancellor, with the see of Salisbury, and Roger, his larder er, 
with that of Hereford. There, also, Anselm, the archbishop, 
held a great synod on ecclesiastical affairs, at which were 
present Gerard, archbishop of York, Maurice, bishop of Lon- 
don, William, bishop-elect of Winchester, Robert, bishop of 
Lincoln, Samson of Worcester, Robert of Chester, John of 
Bath, Herbert of Norwich, Ralph of Chichester, Gundulph ot 
Rochester, Hervey of Bangor, and the two newly-invested 
bisliops, Roger of Salisbury, and Roger of Hereford. 
Osbern, bishop of Exeter, could not attend, being detained by 
sickness. In this synod, several abbots, both Frenchmen and 
English, were deposed, and deprived of the preferments which 
they had obtained unfairly, or in which they lived disreputably; 
namely, Guy, abbot of Pershore, Aldwin, abbot of Ramsey, 
and the abbot of Tavistock, Haimon, abbot of Cerne, and the 
abbot of Michelney, Ethelric, abbot of Middleton, Goodric of 
Peterborough, Richard of Ely, and Robert of St. Edmund's. 
Roger, the before-mentioned bishop-elect of Hereford, was 
taken ill at London and died ; and Reignclm, the queen's 
chancellor, was substituted for him by a like investiture. 
Henry, king of England, gave Mary, the queen's sister, in 
marriage to Eustace, count of Boulogne. 

[The King and Archbishop's quarrel about Investitures.^ 

[a.d. 1103.] There was a violent dispute between kin^ 
Henry and archbishop Anselm; the archbishop being opposed 
to the king's conferring investitures of ecclesiastical prcfer- 

' See fuller details of the revolt of Robert de Belesme, and king 
Henry's successful campai'^n airainst him, in B. xi. c. iii. of Ordericus 
Vitalis. Vol. iii. p. 331, &c. in the Antiq. Lib. 


212 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1103, 1104. 

ments, and refusing either to consecrate or communicate with 
those to whom the king had already given churches ; because 
the apostolical pope had forbidden this to him and all others. 
In consequence, the king commanded Gerard, the archbishop 
of York, to consecrate the bishops to whom he had given in- 
vestitures, namely, William GifFard, and Eoger, who had been 
his chaplain, and was now preferred to the bishopric of 
Salisbury. Gerard was willing to comply with the king's 
command, but William, in deference to the canons, made light 
of both that and archbishop Gerard's consecration. Where- 
fore the king sentenced him to forfeit all he had, and he 
was banished the realm : the others remained unconsecrated. 
Shortly before this, Reignelm had surrendered the bishopric 
of Hereford to the king, believing that he had offended God . 
because he had accepted the investiture of a church from the 
hands of a layman. 

The king held his court during Easter at Winchester. 
Anselm, the archbishop, after the many injuries and slights 
he had endured, at the king's request set out for Rome on the 
fifth of the calends of May [27th April], as it had been settled 
between him and the king ; being accompanied by William, 
bishop-elect of Winchester, and the deposed abbots, Richard 
of Ely and Aldwin of Ramsey. 

Robert, earl of Normandy, came into England to confer 
with his brother, and before he returned released him from 
the annual pension of three thousand silver marks, which the 
king was bound to pay him yearly according to their agree- 
ment.^ Blood was seen by many persons to flow from the 
ground at a place called Heamstede in Berkshire. In the 
same year, on the third of the ides [the 3rd] of August, there 
was a violent storm of wind, which did more damage to the 
fruits of the earth in England than men then living had ever 
witnessed in former times. 

[a.D. 1104.] Two venerable abbots died, — Walter of 
Evesham, on the thirteenth of the calends of February 
[20th January], and Serlo of Gloucester, on the fourth of 
the nones [the 4th] of March. Henry, king of England, held 
his court at Westminster during Whitsuntide. On Tuesday 
the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of June, about the sixth 

^ According to Malmesbury, Robert resigned his pension at the 
instance of the queen, as the price of his liberty. 

A.D. 1104-6.] RELICS OF ST. CUTHBERT. 213 

hour, four circles of a white colour were seen round the sun, 
one under the other, as in a painting. All who observed it 
marvelled, such appearances having been never before seen 
by any of them. William, earl of Morton, was disinherited 
of all his English domains. It would be difficult to describe 
the miseries which the land of England sutiered at that time 
from the king's exactions. 

The body of St. Cuthbert, the bishop, was exposed to 
view while Ilanulj)h was bishop, and was clearly found to be 
uncorrupted, as well as the head of St. Oswald, king and 
martyr, and the relics of St. Bede and other saints, by lialph, 
abbot of Seez,^ afterwards bishop of Rochester, and the 
monks of Durham, in the presence of earl Alexander, the 
brother of Edgar, king of Scots, and afterwards king himself. 
Having been permitted to assist on so sacred an occasion, he 
caused a shrine to be made at the cost of many gold and 
silver marks, in which the sacred body was deposited, wrapped 
in new vestments. 

{The King invades Normandy. ~\ 

[a.d. 1105.] Henry, king of England, crossed the sea, 
and on his arrival nearly all the Norman barons deserted the 
earl, their lord, whom they despised, and flocked to the king 
for the gold and silver which he brought over with him, 
putting their castles and fortified cities and towns into his 
hands. After having burnt Bayeux, with the church of 
St. Mary there, and taken Caen from his brother, he returned 
to P^ngland, finding it was not in his power at that time to 
make himself master of the whole of Normandy, and intend- 
ing to return the ensuing year and subdue the remainder, to 
the disinheritance of his brother. William, earl of Morton, in 
revenge for the loss of his English domains, did all the mis- 
chief he could to the king's vassals and possessions. 

[a.d. 1106.] Robert, earl of Normandy, came over to 

' Ralph d' Escures, bishop of St. Martin, at Seez, being driven out 
of Normandy by the persecutions of Robert de Belt'srae, took refuf^e 
in England, and was appointed bishop of Rochostc^r, llth Auj^ust, 1 lOS, 
raised to the see of Canterbury the 2fith April, 1114, and di( d the 20th 
October, 1122. See Urdcric. Vital., vol. ii. p. 4G5, and vol. iii. p. 34'J. 


England to have a conference with his brother Henry, and 
met him at Northampton/ Then the earl begged him to 
restore what he had taken from him in Normandy ; but the 
king gave a flat refusal to all his demands, and the earl left 
him in great wrath and recrossed the sea. 

On Friday, in the first week of Lent, the fourteenth of the 
calends of March [16th February], in the evening, a strange 
star was visible between the south and west, and shone for 
twenty-five days in the same form and at the same hour. It 
appeared small and dim, but the light which issued from it 
was exceedingly clear ; and flashes of light, like bright beams, 
darted into the star itself from the east and north. Many 
aflSrmed that they saw several strange stars at that time. On 
the night of Holy Thursday, shortly before daybreak, two 
moons were visible, one in the east, the other in the west ; 
and both were full, the moon being then fourteen days old. 
In this year a most execrable quarrel took place between the 
emperor of Germany and his son. 

[The Battle of Tinchehrai.'] 

Henry, king of England, crossed the sea before the month 
of August, proceeding to Normandy ; and nearly all the 
principal Normans submitted to him, except Robert de 
Belesme, William de Morton, and a few others, who main- 
tained their allegiance to earl Robert. On the assumption of 
St. Mary [15th August], king Henry came to Bee, where he 
had a meeting with Anselm, the archbishop, and they came 
to terms of peace and concord on all the matters on which 
they had differed. Soon afterwards, the archbishop, by the 
command and at the request of the king, returned to England. 
The king, having assembled an army, marched to a castle 
belonging to the earl of Morton, called Tinchebrai, and laid 
siege to it. While the king was detained before the place 
his brother Robert fell upon him at the head of his army, on 
the eve of St. Michael, having with him Robert de Belesme 
and William, earl of Morton ; but right and victory were on 

' Cf. Henry of Huntingdon, p. 242. This interview, at which 
Robert threw himself in vain at the feet of the author of his misfor- 
tunes, is described with simple pathos by John Brompton. 


the king's side.^ Robert, earl of Normandy, William, earl of 
Morton, and Robert d'Estoteville were taken prisoners in the 
battle; but Robert de Relesme escaped by flight. William 
Crispin was also captured, and many others, at the same 
time. Affairs having taken this turn, the king brought all 
Normandy to submission and governed it according to his 
will ; intelligence of which he communicated by letters to 
arelibishop Anselm. 

[a.d. 1107.] Edgar, king of the Scots, died on the eighth 
of the ides [the 6th] of January, and was succeeded by his 
brother Alexander. Peace having l)een established in Nor- 
mandy under the king's go\ernraent, and Robert, duke of 
Normandy, and AVilliam, earl of Morton, having been sent 
forward to England in custody, the king himself returned to 
his kingdom before Easter [14th April]. 

[A Council at London respecting Investitures.^ 

On the calends [the 1st] of August, a great council of all 
the bishops, abbots, and barons of the realm was held in the 
royal palace at London ; and for three days, in the absence 
of archbishop Anselm, the subject of ecclesiajstical investitures 
was fully discussed between the king and the bishops. Some 
of them strove to persuade him to follow the practice of his 
father and brother, and disregard the decree of the apostolic 
see ; for pope Paschal, adhering strictly to the decision pro- 
nounced, had coincided with pope Urban on all points, and, 
like him, had interdicted [ky] investitures, and thus the king 
was brovght to agree with him on the matter. Afterwards, 
when Anselm was present, the king publicly allowed and or- 
dained that from thenceforth no person should ever be invested 
in any bishopric or abbey in England by receiving the pastoral 
staff or ring at the hands of the king or any layman ; Anselm, 
on his j)art, conceding that no one elected to the prelacy 
should be refused consecration to his office on account of his 
having done homage to the king for it. Gerard, archbishop 
of York, phicing his hand in that of Anselm, according to his 

' With all the faults of Robert Curthose, it cannot be said that 
ri;j;ht was on Henry's side. For further details of his previous expe- 
dition into Normandy and the battle of Tinchobrai, see Henry of 
Huntin^'don, p. 242, and Orderic. Vital, vol. iii. pp. 371, 375—381. 

216 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1107, 1108. 

desire, solemnly promiised that he would manifest to him and 
his successors in the archbishopric the same submission and 
obedience which the bishop-elect of Hereford had promised 
to himself before his consecration. 

The following bishops-elect, namely, William of Winchester, 
Roger of Salisbury, Reignelm of Hereford, William of Exeter, 
and Urban of Glamorgan,^ in Wales, came to Canterbury at 
the same time, and were consecrated together by archbishop 
Anselm, on Sunday, the third of the ides [the 2nd] of 
August ; the suffragan bishops of his see, namely, Gerard, 
archbishop of York, Robert, bishop of Lincoln, John of Bath. 
Herbert of Norwich, Robert of Chester, Ralph of Chichester, 
and Ranulph of Durham, all assisting in the office of consecra- 
tion. There was certainly no person then living who had 
any remembrance of the election and consecration at one 
time of so many bishops in England, at any former period 
since the reign of Edward the Elder, when archbishop Pleg- 
mund ordained seven bishops to seven churches in one day.^ 
In this present year died Maurice, bishop of London, Richard, 
abbot of Ely, Robert, abbot of St. Edmundsbury, Miles 
Crispin, Robert Eitz-Hamon, Robert Bigod, and Richard de 
Red vers, who were all of the king's council. 

[a.D. 1108.] Gundulph, bishop of Rochester, died on the 
nones [the 7th] of March. Henry, king of England, in order 
to preserve the peace strictly, made a law that any man taken 
in the act of thieving or robbing should be hanged. He also 
put down base and counterfeit coin under the severest pe- 
nalties, enacting that no person detected in making false 
money should be allowed to compound for their offence 
without losing their eyes and mutilation of their lower limbs. 
And since it frequently happened that the current pennies 
w^ere so bent and broken that they were refused, he enacted 
that no penny or halfpenny, — which he also directed should 
be round, — nor even a farthing [should be taken] unless it 
were perfect. Great benefit resulted to the whole kingdom 
from this enactment ; and thus the king dealt with secular 
affairs, to the relief of the sufferings of the country. Gerard, 

1 Llandaff. 

2 Neither the Saxon Chronicle nor William of Malmesbury record 
this fact. Plegmoud was archbishop of Canterbury from S90 
to 923. 


archbishop of York, died, and Thomas, the cousin of his pre- 
decessor Thomas, succeeded him. 


In the year of our Lord, 1108, the following decrees were 
made concerning priests, deacons, subdeacons, and canons of 
every order, by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, together 
with Thomas, archbishop-elect of York, and all the bishops of 
England, in the presence of the glorious king Henry, and 
with the assent of his barons : — 

" It is DECREED that priests, deacons, and subdeacons, 
shall live chastely, and shall not have any women in their 
houses, except such as are of the nearest kindred, according 
to the rule of the holy council of Nice. Those priests, 
deacons, or subdeacons who, after the prohibition of the 
synod of London, have retained their wives, or taken others, 
it" they choose to continue to celebrate mass, are to so put 
them away that neither the women are to come to their 
houses, nor they to the houses of the women ; they are, also, 
never to meet by appointment in any other house, nor are 
such women to reside on the lands of the church ; and if it 
be necessary for any lawful purpose to hold converse with 
them, let them meet out of doors, in the presence of two 
credible witnesses. 

" If any clerk be charged with the violation of this statute, 
on the testimony of two or three lawful witnesses, or the 
common report of his parishioners, he shall purge himself by 
the oaths of credible witnesses of his own order, in addition to 
his own ; namely, by six, if he be a priest ; by four, if he be a 
deacon, and by two, if he be a subdeacon. He who makes 
dijfault in so clearing himself, shall be adjudged a transgressor 
of the sacred canons. 

" Those priests who, without reverence for God's altar and 
their own holy orders, shall choose to live with women, are to 
be excluded from the ])erformance of divine offices, to be 
d<?prived of all ecclesiastical benefices, have their stations out- 
side the choir, and be declared infamous. 

" Whosoever shall wilfully and contumaciously retain his 
wife, and yet presume to perform mass, shall be summoned 

218 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1108, 1109. 

to answer, and on his neglect to appear for eight days, shall 
be excommunicated. ^ 

" This decree applies to all archdeacons and canons, both 
as far as regards parting with their wives, avoiding any con- 
nection with them, and the penalties imposed if the rules be 

"All archdeacons shall swear that they will not receive 
money for allowing the infraction of this decree, nor suff'er 
priests who, to their knowledge keep their wives, to sing 
mass or appoint vicars in their stead. Deans shall do the same. 

" Every archdeacon or dean who shall refuse to take this 
oath, shall be deprived of his archdeaconry or deanery. 

" Priests who shall make their election to put away their 
wives, and serve God and his holy altars, shall suspend their 
functions for ten days, during which they shall appoint vicars 
to perform them, and shall do such penance as their bishops 
shall see fit to enjoin." 

Philip, king of France, died, and was succeeded by his son 
Lewis.-^ Henry, king of England, crossed the sea. Anselm, 
the archbishop, at the king's request, consecrated Richard 
bishop-elect of London, in his chapel at Peckham ; William, 
bishop of Winchester, Poger, bishop of Salisbury, Ralph, 
bishop of Chichester, and William, bishop of Exeter, assisting 
at the ceremony, and the bishop-elect having first made the 
usual professions of obedience and submission. After this 
he went to Canterbury, and consecrated Ralph, abbot of 
Seez, a devout man,^ to the church at Rochester, on the third 
of the ides [the 11th] of August, in place of Gundulph ; Wil- 
liam, bishop of Winchester, Ralph, bishop of Chichester, and 
Richard, bishop of London, assisting him. This Richard, 
following the customs of his predecessors, made a noble offer- 
ing the same day to the mother-church of Canterbury. 

[a.d, 1109.] Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, died there 
on Wednesday, the eleventh of the calends of May [21st 

' Louis-le-Gros succeeded Philip, the 3rd August, 1108. See 
Ordericus Vitalis, vol. iii. pp. 355 and 424, Antiq. Lib., and the char- 
acter of these princes given by Henry of Huntingdon, in his " Letter 
to Walter," ibid., p. 313, 

^ See the note in p. 213. Ordericus Vitalis calls the abbot, who 
was his neighbour in Normandy, '* a cheerful,, facetious, and amiable 

A. D. 1109-11.] DEATH OF AXSELM. 219 

April], and was buried with great honours on the following 
day, being Holy Thursday. Henry, king of England, re- 
turned to England about the Rogation days, and held his 
court during Whitsuntide [13th June] at Westmister. 
Thomas, archbishop-elect of York, was consecrated at London 
on the oth of the calends of July [27th June] by Richard, 
bishop of London, and afterwards received at York, on 
Sunday, the calends [the 1st] of August, the pallium sent 
him by cardinal Ulric. The same day he consecrated Turgot, 
prior of Durham, to the bishopric of St. Andrew's, in Scot- 
land, which is called Cenrimunt. In the same year the 
king converted the abbey of Ely into an episcopal see, and 
appointed Hervey, bishop of Ely, to govern that church. A 
comet was seen about the milky way in the month of De- 
cember, its tail extending towards the northern quarter of the 

[a.d. 1110.] Henry, king of England, gave his daughter 
Matilda in marriage to Henry, king [emperor] of Germany. 
The same year many extraordinary things were witnessed 
throughout England. At Shrewsbury there was a great 
earthquake. At Nottingham the river Trent was dried up for 
the length of a mile, from daybreak to the third hour, so that 
men walked dry-shod in its channel. A comet made its 
appearance on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of June and 
continued visible for three weeks. 

[a.d. 1111.] Henry, king of Germany, came to Rome, and 
laying hands on ])ope Paschal, put him in confinement ; but 
afterwards made peace with hiui at the bridge on the Via 
Salaria, and they celebrated the feast of Easter on the Field 
[of Mars]. 

kino's OATH. 

" I, Henry, will set free, on Thursday or Friday next, the 
li)rd pope and the bishops and cardinals; and to all the 
prisoners and hostages who have been taken for him or witii 
him I will give a safe conduct within the walls of the 
Transteverine city. I will never again take, or permit to be 
taken, those wlio remain in allegiance to the lord the pope 
Paschal; and for myaeli" and mine, 1 will keep peace and quiet 


with the Roman people, both of the Transteverine city and of 
that within the island, as concerns their persons and goods, 
provided they observe peace towards me. I will faithfully 
succour our lord pope Paschal in maintaining his right to the 
papacy in peace and security. I will restore the patrimony 
and possessions of the Roman church, which I have taken 
away, and I will faithfully aid her in recovering all that she 
ought to possess, as my predecessors have done. I will obey 
our lord pope Paschal, saving the rights of my crown and 
empire, in the same manner that catholic emperors have 
obeyed catholic popes of Rome. All these things I will 
observe faithfully, without fraud or covin. 

" These are the jurors on the part of the king : — Frederick, 
archbishop of Cologne, Gebhard, bishop of Trent, Burchard, 
bishop of Munster, Bruno, bishop of Spires, Albert, chancellor, 
count Herman, Frederick, count palatine, count Berenger, 
count Frederick, marquis Boniface, Albert, count de Blandrai, 
count Frederick,^ count Godfrey, marquis Warnerio." 


" Our lord pope Paschal, the one hundred and fifty-sixth 
pope, agrees to grant to king Henry and his kingdom, and 
Avill ratify and confirm it, under pain of excommunication, by 
his apostolical privilege, that when a bishop or abbot is freely 
elected, without simony, and with the royal licence, it shall be 
lawful for my lord the king to invest him with the ring and 
staff. And the bishop or abbot so invested by the king shall 
freely receive consecration from the bishop to whom the right 
pertains. But if any person be elected by the clergy and 
people, unless he also receives investiture from the king, he 
shall not be consecrated ; and archbishops and bishops shall 
be allowed to consecrate those (only) who have received in- 
vestiture from the king. In respect of these things, the lord 
the pope Paschal shall not disquiet king Henry, his kingdom 
and empire." 


" Our lord pope Paschal shall not molest my lord king 

' We follow the text of the E. H. Society in inserting two counts 
Frederick in this list, besides the count palatine. In the copy of the 
document given by William of Malmesbury we find only one. 


Henry, nor his empire and kingdom, concerning the investiture 
of bishoprics and abbeys, nor for any injuries done to liiraself 
and his people, nor shall he do any evil to him or any other 
person on that account. Especially, he shall never pronounce 
any sentence of excommunication against the person of king 
Henry, nor shall the lord pope retain the power of refusing to 
crown him, according to the form in tiie ordinal. And he 
shall aid him to the best of his power, by the authority of his 
office, to maintain himself in his kingdom and empire. All 
this tiie lord pope will perform without fraud or covin." 

These are the names of the bishops and cardinals, who, by 
the command of our lord pope Paschal, have ratified by their 
oaths the bull of privileges and the alliance made with the 
lord emperor Henry : Peter, bishop of Porto, Censius, bishop 
of Sabinum, Robert, cardinal of St. Eusebius, Boniface, 
cardinal of St. Mark, Anastasius, cardinal of St. Clement, 
Gregory, cardinal of SS. Peter and Paul, the apostles ; also, 
Gregory, cardinal of St. Chrysogonus, John, cardinal of St. 
Potentiana, Risus, cardinal of St. Lawrence, Rainier, cardinal 
of SS. Marcellinus and Peter, Vitalis, cardinal of St. Bal- 
bina, Duuzo, cardinal of St. Martin, Theobald, cardinal of SS. 
John and Paul, John, deacon of St. Mary-in-Schola Grjecn.^ 


"Paschal, bishop, servant of the servants of God, to his 
most beloved son in Christ, Henry, king of the Germans, and, 
by the grace of God, emperor of the Romans, health and the 
apostolical benediction. 

" Divine Providence has so ordered that there is a singular 
union between your kingdom and the holy Roman church. 
Your predecessors, by virtue of their suj^erior worth and 
j)rudence, obtained the Roman crown and imperial dignity ; to 
which, dearest son Henry, the Divine Majesty has advanced 
you by the ministry of our priestly office. The prerogatives, 
therefore, of that dignity, which my predecessors have granted 
to the catholic emperors, your predecessors, and have con- 

' This church is so called from a tradition that St. Augustine 
tauj^ht rhetoric thc-re before Iiis conversion. Williuin of IMahnesbury 
adds to this list tlie names of " Leo, dean of St. Vitalis, and Albo, deau 
of SS. Rof^ius and Bacchius," and for cardinal of St. Martin, reails 
cardinal of St. Mark. 

222 'FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1111. 

firmed by bulls of privileges, we also grant to you, beloved, 
and confirm by this present instrument ; to wit, that it shall be 
lawful for you to confer investitures, by staft* and ring, on the 
bishops and abbots of your realm, freely elected without com- 
pulsion or simony ; and that after their investitures they may 
receive canonical consecration from the bishop to whom it 
appertains. If any one, however, be elected by the people 
and clergy, but without your assent, unless he receives in- 
vestiture from you, let him not be consecrated. Let arch- 
bishops and bishops have licence from you to give canonical 
consecration to bishops and abbots who have received your 
investiture. For your predecessors have so amply endowed 
the churches of your realm from their royal domains, that it 
is very expedient that the possessions of the bishops and 
abbots should contribute to the defence of the kingdom, and 
that the popular tumults which often occur in elections should 
be put down by the royal power. Wherefore, it is your duty, 
in the exercise of your prudence and authority, that, by the 
help of Grod, the pre-eminence of the Roman church, and the 
welfare of all, be guarded by your beneficial acts and services. 
If any person, ecclesiastical or secular, shall rashly attempt to 
pervert the sense of this our grant, let him be excommunicated, 
unless he repent ; and, moreover, incur the peril of losing his 
office and dignity; and may the Divine mercy protect 
those who observe it, and grant you a happy reign, both in 
your person and in your power, to his honour and glory." 

With these conventions and oaths, peace was concluded 
between the lord pope and the king, during the feast of 
Easter. Then the king made his entrance into Rome on the 
ides [the 13th] of April, and the pope, having celebrated 
mass in the church of St. Peter, consecrated him emperor,^ 
gave him and his followers absolution, and pardoned them for 
all the injuries he had received at their hands. 

[J. Colony of Flemings settled in South Wales.'] 

Henry, king of England, removed into Wales all the 
Flemings who were living in Northumbria, with their chattels, 

^ William of Malmesbury states, that the pope and emperor met on 
Sunday, the 4th before the ides of April, and gives details of the 
ceremonies which followed. 

A. D. 1111, 1112.] RESPECTING INVESTITURES. 223 

and made them settle in the district called Rhos.^ The king 
al.<io connnanded that tlie new monastery, which stood within 
the walls of Winchester, should, under the direction of 
William, bishop of Winchester, be built without the walls; and 
soon afterwards crossed the sea. In this year there was a 
very severe winter, a grievous famine, a great mortality, a 
murrain among animals, both wild and domestic, and vast 
numbers of birds also perished. 


[a.d. 1112.] In the thirteenth year of the pontificate of 
pope Paschal II., the fifth indiction, in the month of March, 
the fifteenth of the calends of April [18th March], the 
Lateran Council was held at Rome, in the basilica of Constan- 
tino. In this council the pope, having taken his seat, with 
the archbishops, bishops, and cardinals, and a mixed multitude 
of the clergy and laity, on the last day of the assembly, he 
made a profession of the catholic faith in the presence of all, 
in order that none might doubt of his belief, saying : — 
" I embrace all Holy Scripture, namely, the Old and Xew 
Testament, the law written by Moses and the holy prophets. 
I embrace the four gospels, the seven canonical epistles, the 
epistles of the glorious doctor, St. Paul the apostle, the holy 
apostolic canons, the four general councils, like the four 
gospels, namely the councils of Nice, Ephesus, Constantinople, 
and Chalcedon ; the council of Antioch, and the decrees of 
the holy fathers, popes of Rome, especially the decrees of the 
lord pope Gregory VII., and of poj)e Urban of blessed 

' Henry I., as well as his father, the Conqueror, out of respect to 
queen Matilda, (lau2;hter of Baldwin, earl of Flanders, gave an asylum 
to a ;^reat number of Fleminj^s, compelled by inundations to seek new 
habitations. They were first settled in the north of Eni:;la!ul, but 
afterwards removed into a district of Pembrokeshire, then and still 
called Roos. The colony consisted almost entirely of persons of the 
lower clasSjSoldiers, artificers, and manufacturers; and the country they 
occupied seems to have been the cradle of the woollen manufactory still 
carried on in the neii^hbouring districts, in a most primitive fashion, 
the numerous streams afrordin;^: sit<'S for fullini^-mills The settlers 
•were probably accompanied by Enn^lish, or had actpiircMl that lanjjfuajj^e, 
which from tliat period has exclusively prevailed in that paVt of South 
AN'ales; the barrier line between the Welsliry and Kn<^lishry being still 
preserved, a brook or a footpath often separating the langu iges. 


memory. What they approved, I approve ; what they held, 
I hold ; what they confirmed, I confirm ; what they con- 
demned, I condemn ; what they rejected, I reject ; what they 
interdicted, I interdict ; what they prohibited, I prohibit, in 
all and through all : and in this faith I will always persevere. " 

When he had finished, Gerard, bishop of Angouleme, legate 
in Aquitaine, rose in the name of all, and by the common con- 
sent of the lord pope Paschal and the whole council, read this 
instrument : — 

*' All we assembled in this holy council, with the lord pope, 
do condemn, with canonical censures by our ecclesiastical 
authority and the sentence of the Holy Ghost, that act of 
privilege which is no privilege, but ought rather to be 
called a breach of privilege,^ that act, namely, which was 
extorted by the violence of king Henry from our lord pope 
Paschal for the liberation of the prisoners and of the church ; 
and we adjudge it to be null and void, and altogether quash 
it, and utterly repudiate it as possessing no authority or force ; 
and it is condemned for this that it contains a provision that 
one canonically elected by the clergy and people may not be 
consecrated unless he shall have first received investiture from 
the king ; which is in opposition to the Holy Spirit and the 
canonical institutions.'' 

When the reading of this instrument was finished, it was 
approved by the whole council with the acclamation, " Amen, 
Amen! Piat, fiat!" [Be it so]. The archbishops who were 
present with their suffragans were these : — John, patriarch of 
Venice, Semies of Capua, Landulph of Benevento ; and those 
of Amalfi, Reggio, Otranto, Brindisi, Capua, and Gyrontium ; 
of the Greeks, there were Risano and the archbishop of San 
Severino ; the bishops present were, Censius of Savona, Peter 
of Porto, Leo of Ostia, Cono of Praeneste, Gerard of 
Angouleme, Walo of Lyons, legate for the archbishops of 
Bourges and Yienne, Roger of Volterra, Geoffrey of Sienna, 
Roland of Populonia [Pisa], Gregory of Terracina, William 
of Troga [in Naples], Gibin of Syracuse, legate for the whole 
of Sicily ; and nearly one hundred other bishops. Bishops 
Siguin and John of Tusculum [Frascati], although they were 
at Rome at the time, were not present at the council ; but 

1 « Privilegium illud quod non est privilegium, sed vere debet dici 

A.D. 1112 — 14.] WORCESTER BURNT. 225 

having afterwards read the condemnation of the act of privi- 
lege, they accepted and approved it. 

Samson, the twenty-tiftli bishop of Worcester, died on 
Sunday, the third of the nones [the 9th] of May. Henry, 
king of England, placed Robert de Belesme in confinement, at 
Carisbrook, in the month of October. 

[a.d. 1113.] The city of Worcester, with the cathedral 
church, and all the other churches, and the castle, was de- 
stroyed by fire on Tliursday, the thirteenth of tl)e calends of 
July [19th June]. One of the monks, who had rendered 
great services to the monastery, with two of his servants, and 
fifteen citizens, perished in the flames. Henry, king of Eng- 
land, returned to England in the month of July, and com- 
mitted Robert de Belesme, who had been brought over from 
[Normandy, to the closest confinement at Wareham. Two 
high-born monks of the monastery of St. Mary, in Worcester, 
men of exalted worth, Thomas, the lord prior, and Coleman, 
both departed this life on Saturday, the fourth of the nones 
[the 4th] of October. 

Together summoned from this mortal state 
To realms above, they met a common fate : 
There, with the saints, in never ending joy, 
God give them rest, and peace without alloy ! 

Theowulf, the king's chaplain, was appointed bishop of 
Worcester on Sunday, the fifth of the calends of January 
[28th December], at Windsor. 

[a.d. 1114.] Matilda, daughter of Henry, king of Eng- 
land, was married to Henry, emperor of the Romans, and 
crowned as empress at Mentz, on the eighth of the ides [the 
6th] of January. Thomas, archbishop of York, died on 
Tuesday, tlie sixth of the calends of March [24th February]. 
Ralph, bishop of Rochester, was chosen archbishop of Canter- 
bury at Windsor, on Sunday, the sixth of the calends of Ma}^ 
[2Gtlj April]. The city of Chichester, with the principal 
monastery, was burnt, through negligence^ on the 3rd of the 
nones [the 5th] of May. Thurstan, a chaplain of the king's, 
was preferred at Winchester to tiie archbishopric of York, on 
the feast of the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August]. 
Arnulph, abbot of Peterborough, was elected bisliop of Ro- 
chester. Henry, king of England, after undertaking an 


226 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1114, 1115. 

expedition into Wales, crossed the sea before the feast of St. 
Michael. The river Medway became so shallow, for many 
miles, on the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of October, that 
the smallest vessels got aground in it for want of water. The 
Thames was subject to the same failure on that day, for 
between the bridge and the Royal Tower, even under the 
bridge, the water in the river was so low, that not only 
horses, but even crowds of men and boys forded it, the water 
scarcely reaching to their knees. The water was thus shallow 
from the middle of the preceding night until it was quite 
dark on the night following. We have heard from trust- 
worthy reports that the waters receded in like manner on the 
same day at Yarmouth, and other places in England.^ 

[a.D. 1115.] This year, the weather was so severe that 
nearly all the bridges in England were carried away by the 
ice. Henry, the emperor, having besieged Cologne for a 
long time, and lost many of his troops in a pitched battle, 
made a sworn peace in the city of Nuys.^ Ralph, archbishop 
of Canterbury, received the pallium at the hands of Anselm,^ 
legate of the church of Rome, on Sunday, the fifth of the 
calends of July [27th June] at Canterbury, where nearly all 
the bishops of England were assembled. On the same day 
Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, was consecrated with great 
ceremony. Wilfrid, bishop of St. David's, in Wales, died ; 
up to his time, the bishops had all been Welshmen. 

On the octave of the apostles SS. Peter and Paul, [6th 
July], a great council was held at Chalons by Conon, cardinal 
of the Roman church, at which he excommunicated the 
bishops who were not present at the council ; he degraded 
some abbots, and deprived many of their staffs, and deposed 
them from their dignities, interdicting them from ecclesiastical 

Henry, king of England, returned to England in the 
middle of the month of July. Bernard, the queen's chan- 
cellor, was chosen bishop of St. David's, in Wales, on Satur- 

* Ordericus describes the same phenomenon as happening during 
Lent of the year 1119 in the river Seine, and ascribes it to the action 
of a strong wind ; but it would rather seem on both occasions to have 
been the effect of some subterranean convulsion. See the note in 
vol. iii.,p. 475, of Ordericus, Bohri's Antiq. Lib. 

^ Near Cologne. 

^ He was the nephew of archbishop Anselm. 

A.D. 1115, inc.] HOMAGE TO PRINCE WILLIAM. 227 

day, the fourteenth of the calends of October [18th Septem- 
ber], and the same day was advanced to the priesthood, at 
Southwark, by WilHam, bishop of Winchester ; and on the 
day following, at Westminster, was consecrated bishop by 
Ralph the archbishop. Reignelm, bishop of Hereford, died 
on the sixth of the calends of November [27th October], and 
Geoffrey, the king's chaplain, was chosen in his stead. 
Arnulph was ordained to the see of Rochester, and Geoffrey 
to the see of Hereford, on the feast of St. Stephen [2Gth 
December], at Canterbury, by Ralph, the archbishop. 

[a.d. 1116.] Griffyth, son of Rhys,^ made a plundering 
expedition, and burnt some castles in Wales, because king 
Henry would not give him a portion of his father's territories. 
The witan of all the nobles and barons of England was held 
at Salisbury, on the fourteenth of the calends of April [19th 
March], and they did homage and swore fealty in the pre- 
sence of king Henry to his son William. 

\^Quarrel between the Archbishops of Canterbury and York.^ 

The controversy which had been carried on for a whole 
year between Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, and Thurstan, 
archbishop-elect of York, was brought before the court. The 
archbishop-elect, when required by the primate to make due 
submission to the church of Canterbury, and receive his bene- 
diction according to the canons, replied that he was ready 
to receive consecration, but nothing should induce him to 
make the profession vrhich was demanded. King Henry, 
finding that Thuistan persisted in his resolution, openly de- 
clared that he should either follow the usages of his prede- 
cessors, both in making the profession and in other things 
pertaining by ancient right to the church of Canterbury, or 
lose the archbishopric of York and consecration altogether. 
On hearing this, he was so moved by the hasty impulses of 
his temper, that he gave up the archbishopric, promising tlie 
king and the archbishop that he would never claim it as long 
as he lived, and that he would assert no pretensions to it, 

' Son of Rhys-ap-Tewdwr, the last king of South Wales, and brother 
of Nc'sta, a concubine of Ilenry I., by wliom he had Robert, earl of 
Gloucester. See Warrington's Hist, of Wales, p. 280. 


228 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1116, 1117. 

whoever might be appointed in his stead. Owen, king of 
Wales, Avas slain,^ and Henry, king of England, crossed the 
sea, Thurstan, archbishop-elect of York, accompanying him, 
in the hope of recovering the investiture of his archbishopric, 
and obtaining consecration from the primate by the king's 
command, without being compelled to make the required 
profession. About the month of August, Anselm, returning 
from Rome with the pallium for the archbishop of Canterbury, 
joined king Henry in Normandy. He was also the bearer of 
letters from the pope, appointing him his legate for ecclesias- 
tical affairs in England ; which he announced in a brief to the 
English nation. In consequence, at the suggestion of the 
queen and her council of nobles in England, Ralph, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, crossed the sea after the feast of the 
Nativity of St. Mary, to meet the king, whom he found 
residing at Rouen ; and having minutely consulted with him 
on the business on which he was come, by his advice he 
pursued his journey to Rome. 

[a.D. 1117.] By king Henry's command a new building 
was commenced [at the abbey of] Cirencester. There was a 
great earthquake in Lombardy, which (according to the 
accounts of well-informed persons) lasted forty days, and 
laid in ruins a vast number of houses ; and, what is remark- 
able, a large villa was suddenly removed from its original 
site, and may now be seen by all the world standing on a 
very distant spot. At Milan, while some men of patrician 
rank were holding a sitting in a tower on state affairs, a voice 
from without was heard suddenly by all assembled, calling 
one of them by name to come forth instantly. Upon his 
lingering, a phantom appeared before them, and by earnest 
intreaties induced the person named to quit the building. 
As soon as he was gone out, the tower suddenly fell, and 
buried all who were in it under its ruins. Robert, bishop of 
Stafford,^ and Gilbert, abbot of Westminster, died on the 
eighth of the ides [the 6th] of December. 

1 Owen-ap-Cadwgan, a prince of Powis, who had espoused the 
cause of king Henry against Griffyth-ap-Rhys. Warrington's History 
of Wales, pp. 281—289. 2 Coventry. 





[a.d. 1118.] Pope Paschal, of blessed memory, died on 
the fourteenth of the calends of February [19th January], 
and one John, a native of Gaieta, succeeded him, and changed 
his name to Gelasius. " He was bred a monk from his youth 
in the monastery of Monto Cassino, and in his riper years had 
filled the office of chancellor, in the service of the venerable 
and apostolic men, popes Desidorius, Urban, and Paschal, 
with great assiduity. Meanwhile, the king of Germany, who 
was also emperor of the Romans, hearing of the pope's 
decease, hurried to Rome, and made the bishop of Braga^ 
pope, although he had been excommunicated the preceding 
year at Benevento, by Pope Paschal ; his name was changed 
from Maurice to Greijorv. 

Matilda, queen of England, died at Westminster on the 
calends [the 1st] of May, and was interred with due cere- 
mony in that monastery. Many of the Normans broke the 
fealty they had sworn to king Henry, and regardless of the 
rights of their natural lord, transferred their homage to 
Lewis, king of France, and his great lords, although they 
were enemies. The before-mentioned pope, Gclasius, came 
by sea to Burgundy, and his arrival was immediately notified 
to all parts of France. 

\_Death of the Author of the Chronicle.'] 

Dom Florence of Worcester, a monk of that monas- 
tery, died on the nones [the Ttli] of July. His acute 

* Braga, in Portugal. 

230 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1118, 1119. 

observation, and laborious and diligent studies, bave rendered 
this Chronicle of Chronicles pre-eminent above all others. 

His spirit to the skies, to eai'th his body given. 

For ever may he reign with God's blest saints in heaven! 

\^Death hy a Thunderstorm in Herefordshire.^ 

After the dedication of the church of Momerfield, by 
Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, all who had attended the con- 
secration turned their steps homeward ; but although the 
atmosphere had been remarkably calm up to that time, a 
violent storm of thunder and lightning suddenly arose, and 
some of them, overtaken by it on the road, and not being 
able to retreat from the spot they had reached, halted there. 
They were five in number, three men and two women ; 
one of the latter was killed by a stroke of lightning, and the 
other, being scorched by the flash from the navel to the soles 
of the feet, perished miserably, the men only narrowly es- 
caping with their lives. Their five horses were also struck 
with the lightning, and killed. 

[a.D. 1119.J Pope Gelasius died, and was buried at 
Cluni ; he was succeeded by Gruy, bishop of Vienne, who 
changed his name to Calixtus. Geoffrey, bishop of Hereford, 
died on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of February, and 
Herbert on the eleventh of the calends of August [22nd July]. 

[PFar5 between Henry and Lewis. ~\ 
War having broke out between Henry, king of England, 
and Lewis, king of France,^ with the count' of Anjou and the 
count of Flanders, king Henry seized an opportunity of making 
a separate peace with the count of Anjou, receiving his 
daughter in marriage with his son William, whom he had 
already declared heir of all his kingdom. The count of Anjou 
went to Jerusalem. After this, king Henry, with the concur- 
rence of his nobles, made peace with the king of France, on 
which occasion his son William was invested with Normandy, to 
be held of the king of France. The king also made peace with 

' Our author treats very summarily of the wars between the kings 
Henry and Lewis, which ended in the decisive battle of BremuU or 
Noyon, fought on the 20th August, 1119. Ordericus gives considerable 
details of these hostilities in the early chapters of his twelfth book 
(vol. iii., pp. 446—492, of the edition in the Antiq, JLib.). See alsQ 
Henry of Huntingdon's History, ibid, pp. 247, 248. 

A. D. 1119, 1 120.] PEACE RESTORED. 231 

hid nobles who had unjustly and treasonably revolted against 
him, and also with the count of Flanders. An earthquake 
was felt in several parts of England on Sunday, the fourth 
of the calends of October [28tli September], about the tliird 
hour of the day. 

[-4 Council held at Eheims.] 

Pope Calixtus held a general council at Rheiras, on Sunday, 
the thirteenth of the calends of November [20th October], at 
which there was a great concourse of archbishops, bishops, 
abbots, and lords of various provinces, and immense multitudes 
of the clergy and people. The English bishops who were at 
that time at the court of Henry in Normandy, namely, Wil- 
liam of Exeter, Ralph of Durham, Bernard of St. David's, 
and Urban of Glamorgan [Landaff], and also the bishops and 
abbots of Normandy, were sent by the king himself to the 
council. Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury, was prevented 
from being present by sickness. Thurstan, archbishop-elect of 
York, having requested the king's Kcense for attending it, 
obtained it with some difficulty, upon pledging his word that 
he would on no account accept consecration from the pope. 
Bound by this pledge, he pursued his journey, and presented 
himself to the pope ; but forthwith, regardless of his engage- 
ment, he gained over the Romans by bribes to espouse his 
cause, and through them prevailed on the pope to consecrate 
him bishop with his own hands. He was thus ordained to the 
see of York, and by the pope's command many of the bishops 
from France assisted at the ceremony. The English bishops 
had not yet come to the council; but when they learnt what 
had been done, they informed the king, who being very 
indignant, forbade Thurstan and his followers from returning 
to England or Normandy, or any place in his dominions. 

[a.d. 1120.] Ralph, archbisliop of Canterbury, returned 
to England on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4th] of 
.January ; and on Sunday the second of the nones [the 4 th] of 
April, at Westminster, he consecrated to the bishopric of Bangor 
a venerable clerk named David, who was chosen by king G rif- 
fytli and the clergy and people of Wales. At this consecration 
he was assisted by Richard, bishop of London, Robert, bishop 
of Lincoln, Roger of Salisbury, and Urban of Glamorgan. 

232 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1120, 1121. 

[Shipwrech of liing Henry's children.'] 

Henry, king of England, having successfully accomplished 
all his designs, returned from Normandy to England. His 
son William, hastening to follow him, embarked in company 
with a great number of nobles, knights, women, and boys. 
Having left the harbour and put out to sea, encouraged by 
the extraordinary calmness of the weather, shortly after- 
wards the ship in which they were saihng struck on a rock 
and was wrecked, and all on board were swallowed up by the 
waves, except one churl, who, as it is reported, was not 
worthy of being named, but by the wonderful mercy of God, 
escaped alive. Of those who perished, those of highest rank 
were, William, the king's son, Richard, earl of Chester, Othiel, 
his brother, William Bigod, Geoffrey Riddel, Walter d'Evereux, 
Geoffrey, archdeacon of Hereford, the king's daughter, the 
countess of Perche, the king's niece, the countess of Chester, 
and many more vrho are omitted for brevity's sake. This 
disaster horrified and distressed the mind of the king, who 
reached England after a safe voyage, and of all who heard of 
it, and struck them with awe at the mysterious decrees of a 
just God.-^ 

[Henry I. marries Alice of LouvaineJ] 

[a.D. 1121.] Henry, king of England, having been a 
widower for some time, that he might not in future lead a 
dissolute life, by the advice of Ralph, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, and the barons of his realm, who assembled at London 
by his command on the feast of our Lord's Epiphany, resolved 
to marry Alice, daughter of Godfrey, duke of Lorraine,^ a 
young maiden of great beauty and modesty. Envoys being 

' Ordericus Vitalis, in his twelfth book, c. xxv., gives a particular 
account of the shipwreck of the Blanche Nef ; which is also men- 
tioned, with more or less detail, by Huntingdon, Malmesbury, and 
other chroniclers. 

^ Ducis Lotharingce (or Lorraine), the reading in the text of all 
the printed editions of Florence. It is a mistake into which several 
of the English chroniclers have fallen, but Henry of Huntin2,don and 
Roger of Wendover, as well as Ordericus Vitalis and William of 
Juraieges, describe Adelaide, or Alice, the second wife of Henry I., as 
daughter of Godfrey, duke of Louvaine. 

A.D. 11 21. J HENRY I. MARRIES ALICE. 233 

sent over, they brought the future queen with signal honours 
from parts beyond the sea to Henry's court. 

Meanwliile, two clerks were chosen to fill sees which had 
been vacant for some time ; namely, Richard, who was keeper 
of the king's seal under the chancellor, and Robert, who had 
filled the office of steward of the meat and drink in the king's 
household with great industry. The first of these was pre- 
ferred to the see of Hereford, the latter to the see of Chester. 
Herbert, also, a monk of Westminster, was made abbot of that 
monastery. Ricliard, chosen bishop of Hereford on Friday 
the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of January, was consecrated 
at Lambeth on Sunday the seventeenth of the calends of 
February [ITtli January] by Ralph, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, with the assistance of Richard, bishop of London, and 
the bishops, Robert of Lincoln, Arnulph of Rochester, Urban 
of Glamorgan, and Bernard of St. David's. 

On the fourth of the calends of February [30th January] 
the maiden already mentioned as selected for queen was 
married to the king by William, bishop of Winchester, at the 
command of Ralph, archbishop of Canterbury ; and on the 
following day, the third of the calends of February [30th 
January], she was consecrated and crowned as queen by the 
archbishop in person. After this, the archbishop, having 
accompanied the king to Abingdon, consecrated on Sunday 
the third of the ides [the 13th] of March, Robert, before 
named, as bishop of Chester, there being present and assisting 
at this sacrament William, bishop of Winchester, William, 
bishop of Exeter, and the Welsh bishops, Url)an and Bernard. 
After a few days, one named Evcrard, attached to the king's 
chapel, was elected bishop of Norwich, and consecrated at 
Canterbury by archbishop Ralph on the second of the ides 
[the 12th] of June ; Arnulpli, bishop of Rocliester, Richard, 
l)ishop of Hereford, and Robert, bisiiop of Coventry, having 
met for the purpose. 

l*()pe Calixtus, assembling forces from all quarters, cap- 
tured Maurice, surnamed Bourdin, already mentioned, who 
had been intruded by the emperor and his adherents into the 
papal see by the name of Gregory, and thrust liim in disgrace, 
stripped of all he possessed, into a monastery ; he having been 
a monk before. King Hcin-y led an army against the Welsh, 
and, taking hostages from them, reduced the whole of Wales 

234 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1121 — 3. 

under his dominion. A certain clerk, whose name was 
Gregory, an Irishman by birth, having been chosen by the 
king of Ireland, with the clergy and people, to fill the see of the 
city of Dublin, came over to England that he might be 
ordained, according to former custom, by the archbishop of 
Canterbury, the primate of England ; whereupon, by the 
archbishop's command, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, conferred 
on him the orders of priest and deacon at his castle of 
Devizes on Saturday the eleventh of the calends of October 
[21st September]. He was ordained bishop on Sunday the 
sixth of the nones [the 2nd] of October at Lambeth by Ralph, 
, archbishop of Canterbury ; the following bishops, Richard of 
London, Roger of Salisbury, Robert of Lincoln, Everard of 
Korwich, and David of Bangor assisting at the consecration. 
The mother church at Tewkesbury was consecrated with 
great ceremony by Theowulf, bishop of Worcester, Richard, 
bishop of Hereford, Urban, bishop of Glamorgan, and the 
before-named Gregory, bishop of Durham, on Monday the 
ninth of the calends of November [24th October]. 

[a.D. 1122]. The city of Gloucester, with the principal 
monastery, was again destroyed by fire on Wednesday the 
fourth of the ides [the 4th] of March, in the twenty-second 
year of king Henry's reign. It was burnt before in the first 
year of his reign, on Thursday the eleventh of the calends of 
June [22nd May]. Ralph, the twenty-fifth archbishop of 
Canterbury, departed this life at Canterbury on Thursday the 
fourteenth of the calends of November [19th October]. John, 
bishop of Bath, died on the fourth of the calends of January 
[29th December] : during his lifetime he had bought the 
whole city of Bath from king Henry for five hundred pounds. 

[a.D. 1123.] Robert, the eighteenth bishop of Lincoln, 
while riding on horseback and conversing with king Henry at 
Woodstock in the month of January, fell to the ground, and, 
losing the use of his speech, was carried to his lodgings, and 
shortly afterwards expired.^ Ralph, also, the king's chan- 
cellor, came to a wretched end.^ William, a canon of 

' For the circumstances attending the death of Robert Bloet, bishop 
of Lincoln, see the Saxon Chronicle ; also, Henry of Huntingdon's 
History, p. 250, and his " Letter to Walter," p. 304. Bohn'sAntiq. Lib. 

^ The tragic end of this unscrupulous lawyer is related by Hunting- 
don. Ibid, p. 250. 


St. Osythe, at Chiehe/ was named to the archbishopric of 
Canterbury at Gloucester, where the king held his court at 
the feast of the Purification of St. Mary ; and he was conse- 
crated at Canterbury by William, bishop of Winchester, 
assisted by many other bishops, on the fourteenth of the 
calends of March [IGth February]. With his approval, the 
bishopric of Lincoln was given to Alexander, archdeacon of 
Salisbury. Afterwards, archbishop William, in company 
with Thurstan, archbishop of York, Bernard, bishop of 
St. David's,^ Sigefred, abbot of Glastonbury, and Anselm, 
abbot of St. Edmund's, went to Rome to receive the pallium. 
Alexander, king of Scots, died on the seventh of the calends 
of May [2oth April]. Henry, king of England, went over 
sea after the feast of Whitsuntide pird June]. William, 
archbishop of Canterbury, having received the pallium from 
pope Calixtus, and Thurstan, archbishop of York, with their 
companions, on their return from Rome, paid a visit to the 
king, who was still in Normandy : after a short stay, arch- 
bishop William came back to England, and, on the eleventh 
of the calends of August [22nd July], at Canterbury, conse- 
crated Alexander as bishop of Lincoln ; and, on the seventh 
of the calends of September [26th August], in the church of 
St. Paul the Apostle, at London, consecrated Godfrey, the 
queen's chancellor, to the bishopric of Bath. Theowulf, the 
twenty-sixth bishop of Worcester, died on Saturday the 
thirteenth of the calends of November [20th October] at his 
vill of Hampton.^ Robert, abbot of Tewkesbury, departed 
this life on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of December. 
Alexander, king of Scots, was succeeded by David his 

[a.d. 1124.] Arnulph, the twenty-third bishop of Ro- 
chester, died in the month of March. Waleran, earl de 
Mellent, was taken prisoner in Passion-week, with many 

' St. Osythe, in Essex, a priory rebuilt in 1118 for canons of the 
Auf^ustine ordor, of which tliere are considerable remains. 

■^ Henry of IIuntin;^don includes Alexander, the new bishop of Lin- 
coln, arnon^ th(; archi)isho[)'s companions to Rome, and it is probable 
that th(; historian attendi-d his patron. See his character of bishop 
Alexander, p. 2r)'A, of his history in th(? An(i(j. Lib. 

^ Hampton-upon-Avon, or liishop's Hampton, now called Hampton 
Lucy, near Stratford^ au ancient possession of the bishops of 


others, by king Henry's troops in Normandy, and committed 
to close custody in the Tower of Bouen. Geoffrey, abbot of 
the New Minster at Winchester, died. The reverend prior 
of the church of Worcester, Nicholas by name, died on 
Wednesday the eighth of the calends of July [24th June], 

God, of his mercy, grant him bliss in heaven ! 

William, archbishop of Canterbury, crossed the sea by the 
king's command. Pope Calixtus died, and was succeeded by 
Honorius, bishop of Ostia. 

[a.D. 1125.] Coiners in England, taken with counterfeit 
money, suffered the penalty of the king's cruel law by having 
their right hands struck off and their lower limbs mutilated. 
Afterwards, by a change in the coinage, all articles became 
very dear, and, in consequence, a great scarcity ensued, and 
numbers died of famine.^ 

Simon, the queen's chancellor, and Sigefred, abbot of 
Glastonbury, both men of distinguished worth and piety, were 
chosen bishops while they were in Normandy ; Simon being 
appointed to the see of Worcester, and Sigefred to the see of 
Chichester. Hugh, a man of great prudence, archdeacon 
successively to Samson and Theowulf, bishops of W^orcester, 
died on the twelfth of the calends of April [21st March]. 
After Easter [29th March], the bishops-elect, Simon and 
Sigefred, with the archbishops William and Thurstan, and a 
cardinal of Rome named John, came to England, and Sigefred 
was consecrated as bishop of Chichester at Lambeth by arch- 
bishop William on the second of the ides [the 12th] of April ; 
there being present at this consecration the Roman cardinal, 
Thurstan; archbishop of York, Everard, bishop of Norwich, 
Richard of Hereford, Bernard of St. David's, David of Bangor, 
Urban of Glamorgan, and John, bishop-elect of Rochester. 
Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, was conducted into 
Worcester by the clergy and people in joyful procession on 
the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of May,^ being the day of our 
Lord's Ascension ; and, on the tenth of the calends of June 
[23rd May], he was ordained priest at Canterbury by William 
the archbishop. The emperor Henry died, and was buried 

* Henry of Hunt:n^don tells us that a horse-load of corn (wheat or 
rye?) was sold for sir shillings. 
^ It fell that year on the 7th May. 


at Spiref', where his grandfatlier was also interred. Lothaire, 
the ninety-eighth emperor of the Romans, reigned thirteen 

Simon, the bishop-elect of Worcester, went to Canterbury 
in company with Godfrey, bishop of Bath, and, liaving been 
ordained priest by the archbi.sliop on Saturday in Whitsun- 
week [23rd May],^ was on the following day consecrated with 
great pomp bishop of the holy mother church of Worcester ; 
John, archdeacon of Canterbury, receiving consecration as 
bishop of Rochester at the same time. Richard, bishop of 
Hereford, David of Bangor, Godfrey of Bath, and Sigefred 
of Chichester assisted at the consecration. When Simon 
arrived at Worcester, his episcopal see, he was again met by 
great crowds of people, conducted by whom in procession 
with great pomp he was enthroned, and a " Te Deum" chanted. 
On the same day, that is to say on the ninth of the calends 
of June [24th May], Benedict, a loving and faithful servant 
of God in all his household, was, by Simon, the new bishop, 
consecrated as the new abbot of the convent of Worcester : 
he was, tlie year before, from having been prior, elected 
abbot of Tewkesbury, where he had been brought up under 
the monastic rule from boyhood, and in course of time was 
admitted in peace and love to be one of the monks of 
Worcester by licence from Wulfstan, the lord bishop, at whose 
hands he had received all the ecclesiastical orders. There 
were present at the consecration of this abbot the bishops who 
had received bishop Simon in procession, namely, Richard 
of Hereford, Godfrey of Bath, and David of Bangor, together 
with Benedict's fellow abbots of the diocese of Worcester, 
Guy of Pershore, William of Gloucester, and Godfrey of 
Winclicombe; the lord Walchere, tlie prior of Malvern, repre- 
sented his abbot, who lay sick, and Dominic, prior of Evesham, 
was also present : these were men to whom the words of the 
Psalmist may bo applied, " He sendeth the s])rings into the 
rivers which run among the hills,"^ and such was the companv 
which met the bishop in procession.^ 

' A repetition of a former entry. ^ Psalm civ. 10. 

' In the text of all the editions, the quotation from the Vulp^ate, 
which is so beautifully applied to the fertilising; iiiHueuces of religiou.s 
institutions in a district cc.lebrated for its waters and hills, is carried 
on by the use of inverted comma.s to the end of the para{i;raph. It is 
needless to say, that the latter clause is not found iu the Vulgate. 


[-4 synod held at LondonJ] 

A synod was held at London, in the church of the blessed 
prince of the apostles at Westminster, on the ninth of Sep- 
tember, that is, on the fifth of the ides of that month, in 
which, after the discussion of various matters, the following 
canons, seventeen in number, were published with unanimous 
consent. John, of Crema,^ a cardinal priest of the holy and 
apostolic church, with the title of St. Chrysogonus, and legate 
in England of the lord pope Honorius, presided at this synod; 
and it was attended by William, archbishop of Canterbury, 
and Thurstan, archbishop of York, and the bishops of diifer- 
ent dioceses, to the number of twenty ; with about forty 
abbots, and a great concourse of the clergy and people. These 
are the canons : — 

The first canon. Following in the steps of the holy 
fathers, we forbid, by apostolic authority, any ecclesiastical 
ordination being conferred for money. 

II. We also prohibit the exaction of any fee for chrism, for 
oil, for baptism, for penance, for the visitation or unction of 
the sick, for the communion of the body of Christ, or for 

III. Moreover, we ordain and decree, by apostolic author- 
ity, that at the consecration of bishops, or the benediction of 
abbots, or the dedication of churches, no cope, or tippet, or 
maniple, or ewer, or any other thing shall be exacted by vio- 
lence, but they are to be voluntary offerings. 

ly. No abbot or prior, monk or clerk, shall accept any 
church, tythe, or ecclesiastical benefice, by the gift of a lay- 
man, without the authority and consent of his own bishop. 
If he shall so presume, the gift shall be void, and he shall be 
subject to canonical censure. 

y. Moreover, we decree that no person shall claim the 
patronage of a church or prebend by right of inheritance, or 
bequeath to a successor any ecclesiastical benefice ; which, if 
he shall presume to do, we declare that it shall have no effect, 
saying, with the Psalmist, " O my God, make them like unto 

^ See Henry of Huntingdon, p. 252, Antiq. Lib., for a scandalous 
and well-known story of this cardinal. Crema, his native place, is a 
town in the Bolosrnese. 


a wheel ; " while they said, " Let us take to ourselves the 
houses of God in possession."^ 

VI. Furthermore, we decree that clerks holding churches 
or ecclesiastical benefices, who avoid being ordained in order 
to live with greater freedom, and continue to treat holy orders 
with contempt, after being invited thereto by the bishop, 
shall be deprived of their churches and benefices. 

. VII. No one but a priest shall be promoted to the office of 
dean or prior ; no one but a deacon to an archdeaconry. 

VIII. Xo person shall be ordained priest without a regular 
title. Whoever is ordained independently shall forfeit the 
degree he has obtained. 

IX. No abbot, or clerk, or layman shall presume to eject 
any person ecclesiastically ordained to a church, without the 
sentence of his own bishop. Whoever presumes to do other- 
wise shall be subject to excommunication. 

X. No bishop shall presume to ordain or judge a person 
belonging to another diocese, for every one stands or falls to 
his own master ; nor shall any one be bound by a sentence 
which is not pronounced by his own judge. 

XI. No one shall presume to receive into communion one 
who has been excommunicated by another. If he shall have 
done this knowingly he himself shall be deprived of Christian 

XII. We also ordain that two archdeaconries or dignities 
of another class shall not be held by one person. 

XIII. We prohibit, by apostolic authority, priests, deacons, 
sub-deacons, and canons from living with wives, concubines, 
and women generally, except a mother, a sister, an aunt, or 
other females free from all suspicion. Whoever violates 
this canon shall, on confession or conviction, suffer the loss of 
liis order. 

XIV. We utterly prohibit usury and filthy lucre to clerks 
of every degree. Whoever shall have pleaded guilty to such 
a charge, or been convicted of it, is to be degraded from the 
rank he holds. 

XV. We decree that sorcerers, fortune-tellers, and those 
who deal in divination of any kind, shall be excounnunicated, 
and we brand them with perpetual infamy. 

XVI. We prohibit marriages being contracted between 

' Ps. Ixxxiii. 12, J 3. 


persons connected by blood or affinity, as far as the 

generation. If any persons thus connected have married, let 
them be separated. 

XVII. We forbid men's being allowed to allege consan- 
guinity against their own wives, and the witnesses they bring 
forward are not to be admitted ; but let the authority of the 
fathers be maintained. 

"Are you content?" "Be it so." — "Are you content?" 
"Be it so."— "Are you content V " Be it so."^ 

The same cardinal, after quitting England, went to Nor- 
mandy, and at length returned to Rome. William, the 
archbishop, also considering that the church of England had 
received grievous offence in the humiliation of the see of 
Canterbury, crossed the channel himself on his way to Rome, to 
procure the best support he could in the disordered state of 
affairs, and prevent their growing worse. He therefore 
proceeded to Rome, and was received with honour by pope 
Honorius, who had succeeded Calixtus, and who made the 
archbishop his vicar-general in England and Scotland, and 
appointed him legate of the apostolic see. 

[a.D. 11?6.] King Henry returned to England at Christ- 
mas, and held his court at Windsor Castle with great mag- 
nificence, having summoned all the nobles of the realm to 
attend him there. On this occasion, when the bishop of 
York, claiming equality with the archbishop of Canterbury, 
offered to place the crown on the king's head,^ as his pre- 
decessors had done, his claim was rejected by the decision of 
all who were present, and it was unanimously agreed that 
nothing pertaining to the royal crown belonged to him. 
Moreover, the bearer of the cross which he caused to be 
borne before him into the king's chapel, was thrust out of the 
chapel, with the cross he carried; for, by the judgment of 
the bishops and some learned men skilled in ecclesiastical law, 
it was established and settled that it was not lawful for a 
metropolitan to have his cross carried before him out of his 
own province. 

^ The question seems to have been put thrice, in the form still 
used in convocation : Piacetne vobisf — Placet. 

^ It will be^undejTstood that this was not the ceremony of corona- 
tion; the kings of England wore their crowns, when they kept court 
at the three srreat church festivals. 

A.D. 112G, 1127.] REIGN OF HENRY II. 241 

\Fealty sworn to the empress Matilda.\ 

As soon as the feast days [of Christmas] were over, the 
king went to London, attended by all the men of rank in the 
realm who had flocked to his court, and there, by the king's 
command, William, the archbishop and legate of the see of Rome, 
and all the other bishops of England, and the nobles of the land, 
swore fealty to the king's daughter ; engaging to defend her 
right to tiie crown of England, if she should survive her 
father, against all opposers, unless he should yet before his 
death beget a son in lawful wedlock, to become his successor. 
On the death of the emperor Henry, who had lived in mar- 
riage with her many years, without leaving children, she had 
returned to her father's court, where she was surrounded with 
all the honours becoming her station. The king, therefore, 
having lost his son William in the manner already described, 
and there being as yet no other direct heir to the kingdom, 
for that reason made over the right to the crown to his 
1 daughter, under the provisoe just mentioned. 

[The custodi/ of Rochester castle planted to the archbishops of 


The king, also, by the advice of his barons, granted to the 
church of Canterbury, and to William the archbishop, and to 
all his successors, the custody and constableship of the castle 
of Rochester, to hold for ever ; with liberty to make in the 
same castle a fort or tower, as they pleased, and have and 
guard it for ever; and that the garrison stationed in the 
castle should have free ingress and egress on their own occa- 
sions, and should be security to the archbishop for it. Robert, 
surnamed Pecceth, bishop of Coventry, departed this life, and 
lies buried at Coventry. Hugh, abbot of St. Augustine's 
[at Canterbury], died. 

\A synod held at Westminster. ~\ 

[a.d. 1127.]' William, archbishop of Canterbury, con- 
vened a general synod of all the bishops and abbots, and some 
men of religion from all parts of England, at the monas- 
tery of St. Peter, situated in the western ]>art of London. 
At this synod he himself presided as archbishop of Canter- 
bury and legate of the apostolic see ; assisted ])y William, 



bishop of Winchester, Roger of Salisbury, William of Exeter, 
Hervey of Ely, Alexander of Lincoln, Everard of Norwich, 
Sij^efrid of Chichester, Richard of Hereford, Geoffrey of 
Rath, Jolm of Rochester, Bernard of St. David's in Wales, 
Urban of Glamorgan or Llandaff, and David of Bangor. 
Richard, bishop of London, and Robert, bishop of Chester,-^ 
were then dead, and no successors had yet been appointed to 
their sees. But Thurstan, archbishop of York, sent messen- 
gers with letters assigning reasonable cause for his non-ap- 
pearance at the convocation. Ralph, bishop of Durham, 
fell sick on the road, and was not able to complete the journey, 
as the prior of his church and the clerks whom he sent for- 
ward solemnly attested. Simon, bishop of Worcester, had 
gone to visit his relations beyond seas, and was not yet 
returned. Great multitudes, also, of the clergy and 
laity, both rich and poor, flocked together, and there was a 
numerous and important meeting. The council sat for three 
days, namely, the third of the ides [the 13th] of May, the 
following day, and the third day afterwards, being the seven- 
teenth of the calends of June [16tli May]. There were some 
proceedings with respect to secular affairs ; some were deter- 
mined, some adjourned, and some withdrawn from the hearing 
of the judges, on account of the disorderly conduct of the 
immense crowd. But the decrees and statutes made in this synod 
by common consent of the bishops we have thought it desirable 
to record in this work, as they were there publicly declared 
and accepted. They are these : — / 

I. We wholly prohibit, by the authority of St. Peter, prince 
of the apostles, and our own, the buying and selling of any 
ecclesiastical benefices, or any ecclesiastical dignities whatever. 
Whoever shall be convicted of having violated this decree, if 
he be a clerk, or even a regular canon, or a monk, let him be 
degraded from his order ; if a layman, let him be held out- 
lawed and excommunicated, and be deprived o/ his patronage 
of the church or benefice. 

II. We totally interdict, by the authority of the apostolic 
see, the ordination or promotion of any person in the churcli 
of God, for the sake of lucre. 

' The bishopric of Lichfield was removed to Chester in 1075, but 
again restored to its former seat. The present bishopric of Chester 
is one of the new sees founded after the Reformation. 

A.I). 1127.] DECREES OF A SYNOD. 243 

III. We condemn certain payments of money exacted for 
the admission of canons, monks, and nuns, 

IV. Xo one shall be ai)pointed a dean but a priest, and no 
one but a deacon, archdeacon. If any one in minor orders be 
named to these dignities he shall be enjoined by the bishop to 
take the orders required. But if he disobey the bishop's 
monition to take such orders, he shall lose his appointment to 
the dignity. 

Y. We utterly interdict all illicit intercourse with women, 
as well by priests, deacons, and sub-deacons, as by all canons. 
If, however, they will retain their concubines (which God 
forbid), or their wives, they are to be deprived of their 
ecclesiastical orders, their dignity, and benefice. If there be 
any such among parish priests, we expel them from the 
chancel, and declare them infamous. Moreover, we command, 
by the authority of God and our own, all archdeacons and 
officials, whose duty it is, to use the utmost care and diligence 
in eradicating this deadly evil from the church of God. If 
they be found negligent in this, or (which God forbid) con- 
senting thereto, they are for the first and second offence to be 
duly corrected by the bishops, and for the third to be punished 
more severely, according to the canons. 

VI. The concubines of priests and canons shall be expelled 
from the parish, unless they shall have contracted a lawful 
marriage there. If they are found afterwards offending, they 
shall be arrested by the officers of the church, in whatever 
lordship they may be ; and we command, under pain of ex- 
communication, that they be not sheltered by any jurisdiction, 
either inferior or superior, but truly delivered up to the officer 
of the church, to be subjected to ecclesiastical discipline, or 
reduced to bondage, according to the sentence of the bishop. 

VII. We prohibit, under pain of excommunication, any arch- 
deacon from iiolding several archdeaconries in different dioceses; 
let him retain that only to which he was first appointed. 

VIII. Bishops are to prohibit all priests, abbots, monks, 
and priors, subject to their jurisdiction, from holding farms. 

IX. We command that tithes be honestly paid, for they are 
the sovereign right of the most high God. 

X. We forbid, by canonical authority, any person from 
giving or receiving churches or tithes, or other ecclesiastical 
benefices, without the consent and authority of the bishop. 

11 2 

244 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1127, 1128. 

XI. No abbess or nun is to use garments of richer material 
than lamb's-vvool or cat-skin. 

King Henry, who remained at London during these pro- 
ceedings, being informed of the acts of the council, assented 
to them, and ratified and confirmed by his royal authority the 
decrees of the synod held at Westminster by William, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury and legate of the holy Roman church. 
One Hugh, of the diocese of Rochester, being appointed 
abbot, was advanced, with deserved honour, to the dignity for 
which he was designated, that of abbot of St. Augustine's, by 
William, archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the second of 
the ides [the 12thj of June, at Chichester. Richard, bishop 
of Hereford, died at his vill, called Dydelebyrig,-^ on Monday 
the eighteenth of the calends of September [15th August] ; - 
his body was carried to Hereford, and buried in the church 
there, with the bishops his predecessors. Henry, king of 
England, M^ent over sea. 

[a.D. 1128,] Thurstan, the archbishop, consecrated at 
York, Robert, who had been intruded by Alexander, king 
of Scots, on the petition of David, his brother and successor, 
into the see of St. Andrew's. The archbishop had called 
in Ralph, bishop of Durham, and one Ralph, formerly 
ordained bishop of the Orkney islands, to be his coadjutors in 
the ceremony. This Ralph having been ordained without the 
election or consent of the lord of the land, or of the clergy 
and people, was rejected by all of them, and acknowledged as, 
bishop by no one. Being bishop of no city, he attached him- 
self sometimes to the archbishop of York, sometimes to the 
bishop of Durham ; he was supported by them, and em- 
ployed by both as coadjutor in the performance of their 
episcopal functions.^ Robert, being consecrated by these 
bishops, was not permitted by the Scots, as it is reported, to 

' Ledbury, Herefordshire. 

^ This accounts for this Ralph's being called " bishop of Durham," 
by Henry of Huntingdon and Roger of Wendover, who seem to have 
lost sight of his original and proper designation. The ubiquitous 
bishop forms a distinguished figure in the group sketched by the former 
author before the battle of the Standard, a.d. 1138, in which we are 
informed he was commissioned by the archbishop of York to supply his 
place. Henrjf of Huntingdon represents him as standing on a hillock, 
and arl dressing the army before the battle in a florid discourse, which 
the historian has preserved. See pp. 267 — 269, in the Antiq. Lib. 

A.D. 1128.] BISHOPS AND ABBOTS. 245 

make any profession of submission or obedience to the cliureh 
of York or its bishop, although he was a canon of that 

A man of north and advanced years^ who was a canon of 
the church of Lyons, was elected bishop of London ; for 
Ilichard, bishop of that city, was dead, and this person, 
named Gilbert, and surnamed The Universal,^ was appointed 
in his stead by king Henry and archbishop William, with the 
assent of the clergy and people. He was consecrated by the 
archbishop himself, in the mother church of Canterbury, on 
Sunday, the eleventh of the calends of February [22nd 
January]. Sigefrid, bishop of Chichester, and John, bishop 
of Itochester, assisted and took part in the ceremony, in the 
presence of the abbots, and other great and noble persons, 
assembled at Canterbury on the occasion ; his profession having 
been first made in the same way his predecessors had done, by 
which he promised canonical submission and obedience in all 
tilings to the archbishop and his successors. 

Urban, bishop of Glamorgan or Llandaff, considering that 
ho had not been justly dealt with in regard to certain questions 
with Bernard, bishop of St. David's, which he had litigated 
in the council of the preceding year, crossed the sea, after the 
feast of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February], and 
proceeding to Rome, laid the cause of his journey, supjiorted 
by clear attestations from his own diocese, before the apos- 
tolical poj)e. The pope lent a favourable ear to his pre- 
tensions and statements, and addressed letters to king Henry 
and archbishop William, and the other bishops of England, 
enjoining them by his apostolical authority to suffer no oppo- 
sition from any one to Urban's just demands. 

The venerable Godfrey, abbot of Shrewsbury, died on 
Wednesday, the fourth of the calends of April [24th March]. 
Geoffrey, prior of Canterbury, was, at the request of David, 
king of Scots, and with the permission of William the arch- 
bishop, elected abbot of a place in Scotland called Dunfermline, 
and ordained by Robert, bishop of St. Andrew's. Urban, 
bishop of Llandatf, returned to England, after a successful 

' Gilbert the Universal, so called from his extensive learning. See 
his character sliortly drawn in Henry of IIinitin<;(lon's caustic style. 
*' Letter to Walter," p. MO of his works in the Antuj. Lib. 

246 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1129, 1130. 

journey ; and, by the king's command, the apostolical man- 
dates respecting him were carried into effect. 

One of the monks of the church of Shrewsbury, named 
Herbert, having been elected abbot, and consecrated by arch- 
bishop William at Lewes, assumed the government of the 
monastery at Shrewsbury as such abbot. Hugh, abbot of 
Chertsey, died. William, count of Flanders, surnamed The 
Sad, falling into an ambush, was wounded by his ene- 
mies, and, his sufferings increasing, died, amidst universal 
lamentations, on the sixth of the calends of August [27th 
July], and was buried at St. Bertin. Ralph, bishop of 
Durham, died on the nones [the dthi] of September ; and 
Geoffrey, archbishop of Rouen, departed this life on the 
fourth of the calends of December [28th November]. 

[a.D. 1129.] William, bishop of Winchester, died on the 
eighth of the calends of February [25th January], and was 
buried at Winchester. In the month of July, Henry, king of 
England, returned from Normandy to England. His nephew, 
Henry, abbot of Glastonbury, elected to the see of Winton in 
the month of October, was consecrated bishop by William, 
archbishop of Canterbury, on Sunday, the fifteenth of the 
calends of December [17th November]. Roger, archdeacon 
of Buckingham, and nephew of Geoffrey de Clinton, having 
been elected to the see of Chester, was ordained priest on the 
twelfth of the calends of January [21st December], and the 
next day was consecrated bishop at Canterbury by the arch- 
bishop. He was afterwards enthroned, by the archbishop's 
mandate, m the episcopal chair at Coventry,^ by Simon, bishop 
of Worcester, on Monday, the sixth of the calends of February 
[27th January]. 

[a.D. 1130.] Hugh, abbot of Reading, was elected arch- 
bishop of Rouen. Christ church, at Canterbury, was dedicated 
with great pomp, by William, archbishop of that city, on the 
fourth of the nones [the 4th] of May. The following 
bishops were present at the consecration : — John, bishop of 
Rochester, Gilbert of London, Henry of Winchester, 
Simon of Worcester, Alexander of Lincoln, Roger of 
Salisbury, Godfrey of Bath, Everard of Norwich, Sigefrid 
of Chichester, Bernard of St. David's; with Owen, bishop 
of Evreux, and John, bishop of Seez, from beyond sea. On the 
' See note before, p. 242, 

A.L). 1130-32.] BISHOPS AND ABBOTS. 247 

fourth day afterwards — that is, on the nones [the 7th] of 
May — the city of Rochester was destroyed by lire, while the 
king was there ; and on the day following, being the feast of 
our Lord's Ascension, the new cluircli of St. Andrew was 
consecrated by William the archbishop, some of the before- 
mentioned bishops assisting him in the service. [Ansger], the 
excellent prior of Lewes, was elected at Winchester abbot of 
Reading, and afterwards ordained ; also Ingulph, prior of 
Winchester, having been elected at Woodstock abbot of 
Abingdon, was ordained by Roger, bishop of Salisbury. 
William, abbot of Gloucester, having voluntarily resigned his 
pastoral charge by reason of age, chose, with the consent of 
the brethren, a pious monk, of the same house, named Walter, 
who was ordained abbot by Simon, bishop of Worcester, on 
Sunday, the nones [the 3rd] of August. Serlo, also, a canon 
of Salisbury, was ordained abbot by the same bishop, at 
Blockley, an episcopal vill, and appointed to govern the abbey 
of Cirencester. Robert, prior of the church of Llanthony, 
being elected to the see of Hereford, was consecrated at 
Oxford, by William, archbishop of Canterbury. Henry, king 
of England, went over the sea. 

[a.d. 11.31.] Reginald, the reverend abbot of Ramsey, 
died on the thirteenth of the calends of June [20th May]. 
William, the venerable abbot of Gloucester, and Hervey, 
who had been bishop of Bangor, and^'as afterwards the first 
bishop of Ely, died on the third of the calends of September 
[30th August], the ninth indiction. 

[a.d. 1132.] A comet was seen on the eighth of the ides 
of October [8th October], and remained visible for nearly five 
days. The greater part of the city of London, with the 
principal church of St. Paul the apostle, was destroyed by fire, 
in Wiiitsun week — that is, on tlie second of the ides [the 
14th] of May. In the thirty-third year of the reign of Henry, 
king of England, on Wednesday, the same day in the course 
of the year on which his l)rotlier and predecessor, king William 
Rufus, was slain, and on which king Henry himself assumed 
the government at the connneneement of his reign, it is stated 
that the following appearance occurred. While the king, 
having gone to the coast for the purpose of crossing the sea, 
delayed his departure, although the wind was often fair for 
the voyage, at lust, on the day mentioned, he went down to 


the shore about noon to take his passage, surrounded by his 
guards, as is the custom of kings. Then suddenly a cloud 
was seen in the air, which was visible throughout England, 
though not of the same size ; for in some places the day only 
appeared gloomy, while in others the darkness was such that 
men required the light of candles for whatever they had to 
do. The king and his attendants, and many others, w^alked 
about in great wonder ; and, raising their eyes to the heavens, 
observed that the sun had the appearance of shining like a 
new moon. But it did not long preserve the same shape ; for 
sometimes it was broader, sometimes narrower, sometimes 
more curved, sometimes more upright, now steady as usual, 
and then moving, and quivering and liquid like quicksilver. 
Some say that the sun was eclipsed.-"^ If this be true, the sun 
was then in the head of the dragon, and the moon in its tail, 
or the sun in the tail, and the moon in the head, in the fifth 
sign, and the seventeenth degree of that sign. The moon 
was then in her twenty-seventh day. On the same day, and 
at the same hour, many stars appeared. 

Moreover, on the same day, when the ships were anchored 
on the shore, ready for the king's voyage, the sea being very 
calm and little wind stirring, the great anchors of one of the^ 
ships were suddenly wTenched from their hold in the ground, 
as though by some violent shock, and the ship getting \Hider 
weigh, to the surprise di" numbers who strove in vain to stop 
lier, set in motion the ship next to her, and thus eight ships 
fell foul of each other by some unknown force, so that they 
all received damage. It was also generally reported that on 
the same day and about the same hour, many churches in the 
province of York were seen sweating, as it were, great drops. 

All these occurrences took place, as it is said, on Wednesday, 
the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of August. And on 
Friday, in the same week, the second of the nones of the 
same month [4th August], at daybreak, there was a great 
earthquake in many parts of England. There were some 
also who said that in the week following, on Monday, the 

^ Cf. William of Malmesbury's account of this eclipse, to which, 
however, he has not assij^ned the exact date, though he tells us that 
he was an eye-witness. He mentions, also, an earthquake ; a shock of 
which, probably, caused the convulsion which dashed the ships iu 
liurbour against each other. 


A.D. 1 1.j3-o.] death of iienuy 11. 240 

sixth of the ides of the same month [8th August], when the 
moon was three days old, they saw her first as she generally 
appeared at that age, and after a short space of time, in the 
evening of tlie same day, tliey observed her full, like a round 
and verv briixht shield. Manv also reported that on the same 
night they saw two moons, distant about a spear's length from 
each other. 

[a.d. 1133.] Notwithstanding, king Henry crossed the 
sea, leaving England for Xormandy, never to return alive and 
see England again. In the month of November the city of 
Worcester was exposed to the ravages of fire, a frequent 

[a.d. ] 134.] Robert, brother of king Henry, and formerly 
earl of Normandy, who was taken prisoner of war by the 
king when in Normandy, at the castle of Tinchebrai, and had 
been long confined in England, died at Cardiff, and, being 
carried to Gloucester, was buried with great honours in the 
pavement of the church before the altar. Godfrey, bishop of 
Bath, died on the seventeenth of the calends of September 
[l()th August] ; after some interval he was succeeded by a 
monk named Ilobert, a Fleming by descent, but born in Eng- 
land. Thus Robert, from a monk became a bishop, such being 
the pleasure of Henry, bishop of Winchester, who is now, but 
was not at that time, legate of the Roman church.^ 

[a.d. 1135.] Henry, king of England, died on the fourth 
of the nones [the 20t]i] of December, in the sixty- ninth year 
of his age, after a reign of thirty-five years and four months ; 
and Stephen, his sister's son, being elected to the kingdom of 
England, was consecrated king, by William, archbishop of 
Canterbury, on the thirteenth of the calends of January 
[20th December], at London, where he held his court, at 
Christmas, surrounded by the nobles of England, with great 
courtesy and royal pomp. The holy festival being ended, the 
corpse of king Henry, lately deceased, was brought from 
Normandy to England,'"^ and the king went to meet it, 

' From this passaf>o, as we have remarked elsewhere, the continuator 
of Flor(!iu'e a[)pear.s to have been a coteinporary witli Henry de Ulois, 
at Iciujt, when he was in the /enitli of his power. 

. - Henry I. died at the easLle oi" JJons, near Rouen. Ordericus 
Vit.dis, in his thirteenth hook, and William of Mahn('sl)ury, in the 
first book of his "Modern History," give an account of lus obsequies, 


attended by a large body of nobles, and for the love he bore 
his uncle, he supported the bier on his royal shoulders, 
assisted by his barons, and thus brought the corpse to 
Heading. Masses were sung, many rich offerings made, alms 
distributed to multitudes of the poor, and the obsequies 
having been duly solemnised, and his effigy exposed to view 
on a hearse, the royal corpse was deposited, with the highest 
honours, in a tomb constructed, according to custom, before 
the altar in the principal church, dedicated to the most blessed 
and glorious Virgin Mary, which king Henry himself, for the 
good of his soul, had endowed with Lmds, woods, meadows, 
and pastures, and enriched with many ornaments. 

May Henry, England's king, to whom such wealth was given, 
From purgatorial pains released, partake the bliss of heaven ! 

After his interment, Stephen being on the throne, and, in- 
deed, long before, the bonds of peace were broken asunder, 
and the greatest discord prevailed in all parts of Normandy and 
England. Man rose up against man — discord was rife in the^" 
land, wasting the substance of both high and low, and pene- 
trating on all sides within strong and lofty walls. Every one 
spoiled his neighbour's goods. The powerful oppress the 
weak by violence, and obtain exemption from inquiry by the 
terror of their threats. Death is the lot of him who resists. 
The wealthy nobles of the land, rolling in affluence, care little 
to what iniquities the wretched sufferers are exposed ; all their 
concern is for themselves and their own adherents; they store 
their castles and fortified towns with all things necessary, and 
garrison them with armed bands, fearing a revolution which 
should alter the succession to the crown, and not reflecting on 
the dispensations of the providence of God, " whose ways are 
past finding out." While all should be hushed in peace in the 
presence of royalty, as before a roaring lion, there is no end 
of devastations and ravages in numberless places, and 
especially in Wales. From this any one may perceive with 
how little prudence and firmness, with what injustice rather 
than justice, England, which ought to be ruled far otherwise, 

so far as they took place in Normandy. Henry of Huntingdon adds 
some disgusting details of the treatment of the royal corpse, in the 
rude process by which it was preserved for transport to England. 
Hist., p. 262. « 


A.D. 1136.] KING STEPHEN. 251 

is now governed. In tlie prevailing lust of money, and an 
inordinate anihition for preferment of every kind, moderation, 
the mother of virtues, is scarcely to be found. 

Stephen, king of England, marched into Devonshire with 
a large force of horse and foot, and besieged, for a long time 
the castle of Exeter,^ which Baldwin, surnamed de Redvers, 
had fortified in defiance of the royal authority. But at length, 
the garrison being short of provisions, terms were made, and 
Baldwin, with his wife and children, were expelled from Eng- 
land, his hinds being forfeited. Ansger, the venerable abbot 
of Reading, died on the sixth of the calends of February 
[27th January], and Godfrey, bishop of Bath, on the seven- 
teenth of the calends of September [16th August]. 

[a.d. 1136.] Speedily after the death of king Henry on the 
fourth of the nones (the 2nd) of December a severe battle was 
fought in Gower,^ between the Normans and the Welsh, on 
the calends [the Isi] of January, in which five hundred and 
sixteen of tlie two armies perished. Their bodies were 
horribly dragged about the fields and devoured by the w^olves. 
Afterwards the Welsh made a desperate inroad, attended with 
the destruction, far and wide, of churches, vills, corn, and cattle, 
the burning of castles and other fortified places, and the 
slaughter, dispersion, and sale into captivity in foreign lands 
of countless numbers, both of the rich and poor. Among 
these, tlie noble and amiable Richard, son of Gilbert,^ falling 
into an ambush, was slain by the Welsh, on the seventeenth of 
the calends of May [15th April] ; and his body being carried 
to Gloucester, was honourably buried in the chapter-house of 
the brethren. Another bloody battle was afterwards fought 
at Cardigan, in the second week of the month of October, in 
this same year, in which the slaughter was so great that, with- 
out reckoning the men who were carried oft' into captivity, 
tiiere remained ten thousand women, whose husbands, with 
numberless children, were either drowned, or burnt, or })ut to 

' There is a curious account of the siege in the " Gosta Stophani," 
ai)pou(l('d to IIuntin;j;(Ujn's History in the Antit/. Lib., pp. 3.S7 — .'543. 

■^ A district of South Wales, nearly correspondin;^ with the present 
county of Glaniorj^an. Neither Huntirii^don nor Mahnesbury mention 
this expedition ; but the anonymous author of the " Gesta Stephani" 
des(Tib(s it in some detail. — Jfj. pp. o'2i) — 332. 

' Kichard, son of (iilberi tie Clare, to whom th(> territory of Car- 
dii,'an had been given by king Henry, was murdered by Jorwerth. 


the sword. When the bridge over the river Tivy was broken 
down it was a wretched spectacle to see crowds passing to and 
fro across a bridge formed by the horrible mass of human 
corpses and. horses drowned in the river. 

William, archbishop of Canterbury, died at one of his vills,^ 
on the tw^elfth of the calends of December [20th November], 
in the fifteenth year of his patriarchate, and was buried at 
Canterbury. Gruy, abbot of Pershore, a man of great 
prudence, died on the nones [the oth] of August. Benedict, 
abbot of Tewksbury, a man of devoted piety and strict con- 
tinence, died on the ides [the 15th] of March. 
Removed from this world's strife, 
God give them endless life ! 

[a.D. 1137.] In the month of March, before Easter, which 
fell on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April, Stephen, 
king of England, went over sea, and spent some time in'/ 
foreign parts. Griffyth-ap-Rhys, king of Wales, perished"^ 
through the artifices of his wife.^ The Welsh, having suffered 
much in the defence of their native land, not only from the 
powerful Normans, but also from the Flemings, after numbers 
had fallen on both sides, at last subdued the Flemings, and did 
not cease to commit devastations on all sides ; plundering and 
burning the vills and castles, and putting to death all who 
made any resistance, and the helpless as well as the armed. 
Among the rest, a knight, they say, of great bravery, whose 
name was Pagan us, fell, pierced through the head by a lance 
while engaged in capturing and slaying some plundering 
Welshmen : his body was carried to Gloucester, and buried in 
the monk's chapter house. The city of York was destroyed 
by fire, with the principal monastery, on Friday in Whitsun- 
w^eek, which fell on the 6th of the ides [the 8th] of June. 
Shortly afterwards the city of Rochester was also destroyed 

* Probably at his " vill of Westminster," where Henry of Hunting- 
don tells us (Hist. p. 254) that this William Curboil, archbishop of 
Canterbury, sometimes resided. Huntingdon draws no favourable 
character of this prelate, either in his History, p. 262, or in the 
" Letter to Warin," pp. 315 and 326. 

^ So far from this being the case, Gvvenlian, the wife of Griffyth- 
ap-Rhys, prince of South Wales, a woman of a gallant spirit, seconded 
her husband's efforts for independence, and, in his absence, took the 
field in person at the head of her forces. iSee Giraldus Cambreensis 
Itin. i., c. iv., and Dr. Powell's notes : see also Warrington's History 
of Wales, p. 293. 


l>y fire. On Thursday the fourth of the calends of August 
[29th July] the church of Batli, and, in the same month of 
August, the city of Leicester, were burnt. 

\^3Iiracles at Windsor.'] 

One day, while the people were attending the celebration 
of mass at Windsor, as we have been informed by trustworthy 
persons, there was a sudden radiance in the interior of the 
church ; and some persons, wondering wliat it was, went 
fortli and beheld a strange star shining in the heavens, and 
on their return observed that the light within descended from 
the star. Miracle succeeded miracle. Many observed the 
crucifix which stood on the altar in motion and wrinffini; its 
hands, the right with the left, or the left with the right, after 
the manner of persons in trouble. After this was done three 
times the whole crucifix trembled, and was bathed in sweat 
for nearly half an hour, returning afterwards to its former 

l^Relics found at Soitthwell.] 

At Southwell, a vill of the archbishop's, while a grave was 
being made for a funeral, there were found some relics of 
saints, and a glass phial with raised sides to prevent its being 
broken, and full of very clear water ; which being given to the 
sick, they were on tasting it restored to their former health. 
I give the first of these miracles jis I heard it ; the last was 
related to me by Henry, bisho]) of Winchester. 

[Thurstan, archbishop of York, with Roger, bishop of 
Salisbury, and some otlior bishops and great men of the 
realm, held a council at Northampton, in the hearing of many 

[^Schism in the Church of Rome — Pope and Anti-pope.] 

The see of Rome had now been in an unsettled state for 
seven years, in consequence of there being two popes, namely, 
Gregory, who was also called Innocent, and Peter, called 
Leo, in whose cause a war broke out between Lothaire, em- 
peror of the Romans, and Roger, duke of Apulia. Both 
these princes abounded in wealth, but the first was the most 

' The last parai^raph is evidently an interpolation in this place. 
The mcfiting at Northampton is suljsoqucntly inoiitioned with mure 
detail in the course of the events of the present year. 


religious as well as superior in dignity ; the latter, to his own 
confusion, was moi-e liberal with his gold. But the imperial 
majesty, as it is fitting and just, surpasses in all things the 
royal dignity. Each appointed a bishop of bishops at Rome, 
Lothaire supported Gregory, who was canonically elected ; 
Roger granted the papacy of Rome to Peter Leo. But this 
mutual strife offending the cardinals and the prefect of the 
city, they admitted for lucre, first Gregory, expelling Leo, 
and then Leo, expelling Gregory, to the apostolic see. At 
last Gregory, appointed by Lothaire, ruled the see of the 
aj)ostles. Peter Leo, the whelp of the ancient Peter the Lion, 
sits at the Lateran, like another pope. If both were ins|)ired 
by the ambition of power, neither was pleasing to God. While 
they performed their part in the world, they were reserved 
for the judgment of God, whose judgments are profound. In 
consequence of this great schism having lasted for so many 
years in tlie chief of all the churches throughout the world, a 
day was fixed by common agreement among jbhe princes on 
which a battle, by way of duel, should be fought between 
the two nations, the Romans and Apulians, that God, the 
Omnipotent Judge of all, might give the victory to whom he 
pleased. The emperor Lothaire, therefore, although he was 
suffering from illness, assembled an immense army, and pitched 
his camp in Apulia. Roger met him at the head of many 
thousand troops, both horse and foot. In the encounter 
which ensued, by God's Providence the emperor and his army 
obtained the victory, and Roger and his forces were con- 
quered, and fled. The royal crown which he had caused to 
be made that he might be crowned king, inlaid with gold and 
precious stones, and the royal spear, resplendent with gold, 
were discovered by treachery, and presented to the emperor 
as an acceptable gift. Returning to his own country, he soon 
afterwards lost his kingdom and his life. Lewis, king of France, 
died ; and was succeeded by his son Lewis. Stephen, king of 
England, returned to England in the month of December, 
and held his court during. Christmas at Dunstable, a town in 

\^A Thuringian Tradition.'] 

[a.D. 1138.] Conrad [IL], duke of Bavaria, the ninety-ninth 
emperor of the Romans, and nephew of Henry the Elder, 



wlio liad for empress the daugliter of Henry, king of Eng- 
land, died after a reign of twelve years. In former times, 
a tribe, migrating from the north, reached the country of 
Thuringia, intending to settle there ; and the inhabitants of 
tliat country granted them a large portion of their territory, 
as the foreigners requested. The people increased and multi- 
plied exceedingly. After the la|)se of a long period, they 
refused to pay tlie acknowledgment due to the Thuringians. 
In consequence, both sides met under arms, as is the custom 
of that nation, that the debt might be demanded and paid. 
This was done not once only, but a second time, without a 
•wound being received on either side ; the third time it was 
agreed that both parties should meet unarmed, under a guar- 
antee of peace. The great body of foreigners assembled under 
an impression of the weakness of the Thuringians, and that 
their country was deficient both in counsel and courage for 
its good government. On the a})pointed day they came to 
the conference, having, by way of caution and self-protection, 
tiieir long knives sheathed under their garments. The pro- 
ceedings were not conducted peaceably, but with violent dis- 
putes. In short, the Thuringians were overcome, the fierce 
and alien race triumphed ; for, drawing tlieir long knives, 
they slaughtered many of the Thuringians. These inhabitants 
of the land were driven with ignominy from their country 
and kindred, and nearly all their territory fell into the hands 
of those on whom inconstant fortune now smiled. The 
country which, up to that time, had been called Thuringia, 
then clianged its name, and, fi-om the long knives of the con- 
querors, was afterwards called, not Saxony, but, in the 
English idiom, Saixony.^ 

\^Sie(^e of Bedford — Irruption of the Scots.'] 
The festival days of Christmas being ended,^ Stephen, king 
of England, to maintain his regal crown in conformity to his 
name,^ put himself at the head of his army and besieged and 

' From Sfjex, Anglo-Saxon for a knife, dagger, or short sword. 
Adelung, however, rejectinj; this derivation, says that the most likely 
derivation is from the old German sass, Ang. Sux siet, an inhabitant, 

* Henry of Huntingdon says that king Stephen began the siege of 
Bedford on Christmas-eve. 

^ A pun on Tt^ui/oj;, in Greek, a crowD. 


took the castle of Bedford, wliicli stood out against him, as 
he had before taken that of Exeter. Receiving intelligence by 
a messenger that his enemies^ had made an irruption, and were 
devastating the lands, burning the vills, and besieging castles 
and towns, he marched with a strong force into Northumbria. 
He did not long remain there, having, with some difficulty, 
accomplished the object he had in view. Those who are well 
acquainted with the facts, relate that, for nearly six months, 
a terrible irruption was made by numerous enemies of different 
races into Northumbria and the adjacent country, both far 
and near. Multitudes were taken, plundered, imprisoned, 
and tortured ; ecclesiastics were put to death for the sake of 
the property of their churches ; and scarcely any one can com- 
pute the number of the slain on the enemy's side or our own. 
On the death of the apostolical Leo Peter, Innocent succeeded 
him, all who had taken the part of Peter against him making 
satisfaction, and being entirely reconciled to him. This pope 
consecrated Alberic, abbot of ^ercelli, as bishop of Ostia, on 
Easter-day, at Rome. 

[How the Devil, in the shape of a black dwarf, was made a 


About this time reports of the following miracle were cir- 
culated in all quarters. There is a noble monastery in the 
arch-diocese of Treves called Prum, dedicated to the apostles 
St. Peter and St. Paul, and founded in ancient times by Pepin, 
kins: of the Franks, the father of Charles the Great. A 
strange occurrence is reported by all who were then inmates 
of this monastery. One morning, the cellarer, in company 
with his servant, having gone into the wine-vault, for the 
purpose of procuring wine, as usual, for the sacrifice of the 
altar, found one of the casks which he had left full the pre- 
ceding day emptied down to the orifice commonly called the 
bung- hole, and the wine spilled over all the pavement. In 
great dismay at the loss which had happened, he chid sharply 
the servitor who was with him, saying that he had fixed the 
spigot very negligently the evening before, and that the loss 
had thus occurred. After saying this, he enjoined him, under 
severe threats, to tell no one what had happened ; fearing 
that if it came to the abbot's ears, he would put him out of 

^ The Scots, under king David. 


liis office in disgrace. When evening came, before the brethren 
retired to rest, he went into the cellar, and having carefully 
secured the bung-holes of the vessels in which wine was con- 
tained, shut the door, and went to bed. 

In the morning, on entering the cellar as usual, he per- 
ceived that another cask was emptied as low as the bung-hole, 
and the wine spilt, as on the preceding day. At this sight, 
not knowing to whose negligence he could lay the blame of 
the waste, he was filled with wonder and grief, and repeating 
his commands to the servitor to tell no one what had hap- 
pened, in the ev^ening before he went to bed he fastened all 
the bungs of the casks with the utmost care, and went to his 
pallet, sorrowful and anxious. Rising at day-break, and 
opening the cellar, he saw, for the third time, that the bung 
had been extracted from a cask, and that the wine was spilt 
as far as the hole. Being terrified, and not without cause, at 
these occurrences, and fearing to conceal any longer the loss 
to the community, he hastened to the abbot, and throwing 
himself at his feet, told him, in order, all that he had seen. 
The abbot, taking counsel with his brethren, ordered that 
towards evening tlie bung-holes of all the casks which held 
wine should be anointed round with chrism ; which was done. 
At dawn of day, the before-mentioned brother going into the 
cellar according to his custom, found a wonderfully dwarfish 
black boy clinging by the hands to one of the bungs. Hastily 
seizing him, and bringing him to the abbot, he said : "Behold, 
my lord, this urchin whom you see has done us all the damage 
which we have discovered in the cellar ; " after which he 
related to him how he had found the boy hanging from the 
bung. The abbot, astonished at the singular appearance of 
the boy, took counsel, and ordered that a monk's dress should 
be j>repared for him, and that he should associate with the 
youths who were scholars in the monastery. This was done, 
and as the ahl)ot commanded, the boy lived with the young 
scholars day and night, but never took meat or drink, and 
never spoke either in public or private ; while the others were 
taking repose at night or in the noontide hours, he sat upon 
his bed, constantly moaning and heaving incessant sighs. 
Meanwhile, the abbot of another monastery coming to oiler 
his devotions in that church, was detained there for some 
days, and the scholar-lads frequently passing before him while 



he sat witli the abbot and seniors of the monastery, the little 
boy, stretching forth his hands towards him, cast a tearful 
glance on him, as if he wished to ask him some favour. This 
being frequently repeated, the abbot, wondering at his dimi- 
nutive appearance, inquired of those who sat with him why 
they kept such a little boy in the convent ? They replied, 
smiling, " My lord, the lad is not what you suppose ; " and 
they told him the loss he had caused them, and how he was 
found clinging by the hands to the bung of a cask, and how 
he had conducted himself when living among them. On 
hearing this, the abbot was alarmed, and, groaning deeply, 
exclaimed, " Quickly expel him from your monastery, lest you 
incur greater loss, or serious peril ; for he is clearly a devil 
lurking in human form, but by the mercy of God protecting 
you, through the merits of the saints, whose relics you have 
here, he has been unable to do you further injury." At the 
command of the abbot of the same monastery, the boy was 
immediately brought before him, and while they were in the 
act of stripping off his monastic dress, he vanished from their 
hands like smoke. 

[A council at Northampton.] 

Stephen, king of England, held a council at Northampton, 
in the octave of Easter, which fell on the fourth of the ides 
[the 10 th] of April. Thurstan, archbishop of York, and all 
the bishops, abbots, earls, barons, and nobles of England 
took their seats at it. In this council an archdeacon named 
Robert, the choice of some few, was appointed bishop of the 
church of Exeter, then vacant by the death of its bishop, 
Willifim de Warewast. Two abbeys were also given away ; 
that of Winchcombe to a monk of Cluni, as it is said a rela- 
tion of the king, named Robert ; the other, that of York, to 
a monk of the same abbey. One of these, the abbot-elect of 
Winchcombe, was ordained abbot of that monastery by ]the 
venerable Simon, bishop of Worcester, on the eleventh of the 
calends of June [22nd May]. 

\Boyal visit to Gloucester. 1 

The king, breaking up his camp at Northampton, marched 
towards Gloucester, and when his approach was known, the 
citizens met him more than five miles on the road with great 

A.D. 1138.J Stephen's expeditions. 2.59 

joy, and conducted him into their city, receiving very graciously 
the honours they paid hiiu. On his arrival there, on the third 
Rogation day [10th ^lay,] the monks received him with pro- 
cessional pomp, and he ottered on the altar his royal ring, 
which the king's chaplains redeemed lor fifty sliillings and 
brought back to him the same day. From thence Milo, who 
was then his constable, conducted him with great honour to 
the royal palace, where the next day the citizens swore alle- 
giance to him. On the third day, being Thursday, the king 
returned with his attendants to the abbey, and joyfully assisted 
at masses and processions in honour of our Lord's Ascension. 

[Stephen marches to Hereford.] 

The festival being concluded, the king, having heard that 
the castle of Hereford was fortified against him, put liimself at 
the head of a powerful expedition, and pitched his camj) 
against it, finding on his arrival that the report he had heard 
was true. Wlierefore he remained there for the space of 
nearly four or five weeks, and issued orders throughout 
England that bodies of troops should march to support him in 
putting down all who opposed his royal title. 

Meanwhile, the city of Hereford, below the bridge over the 
river Wye, was burnt before his eyes. Not long afterwards, 
the lamentable conflagration of the city of Oxford reached the 
ears of the king and his court. Tlie garrison of Hereford, 
perceiving of a surety by the numbers and strength of the 
royal army, that the king would triumph over them, made 
terms and surrendered to him. And since Stephen was, nay 
is,^ a loving and peaceable king, he injured no one, but suf- 
fered his enemies to depart free. The king also took the 
fortified place called Wibbeleage,^ which Geoffrey de Talbot 
had lield against him, but afterwards evacuated. It was by his 
devices and ability that the king's adversaries were supported 
in breaking the peace. The aforesaid castles and that of Here- 
ford were garrisoned by the king's troops. 

Meanwhile, Alberic, the before mentioned bishop of Ostia, 
came to England commissioned as apostolical legate to root 

' Florence, it will be observed, speaks of what was actually passing, 
and seems, from liis connection with Worcester, to have espoused the 
cause of k'uvj^ Stephen, 

^ Weobiey, in Herefordshire. 

8 2 


out and destroy, build up and plant, all things that required 
it. The letters from the apostolical see having been read in 
the presence of the king and the nobles of England, out of 
reverence for the apostolical see, he was at length received, 
though not at first. Making a progress throughout England, 
lie noted everything, and kept in mind whatever needed cor- 
rection by the provision and appointment of a council. 

The king having spent some time at Hereford departed with 
his troops. The city, thus deprived of the royal presence, was 
burnt, beyond the river Wye, by the before-named Geoffrey, 
on the eighteenth of the calends of July [the 15th June], 
none of our own people, but seven or eight of the Welsh, 
having been killed. I omit saying anything of the blood-shed 
of many others, for I am ignorant respecting it ; but this 1 


May Christian souls in everlasting rest 
Be with the saints, their warfare ended, blest j 
And John' corrected, if there ought occur, 
In which the reader finds his pages err! 

[The Bishops arrested.] 

Then the king, when the Nativity of St. John [24th June] 
was near, proceeded to Oxford, and hearing that the castle of 
Devizes was fortified against him, sent messengers to Roger, 
bishop of Salisbury, the founder of the castle, who was then 
at Malmesbury, commanding him to come and confer with 
him. It is said that the bishop undertook this journey with 
great reluctance, believing that he should never return ; taking 
with him his two nephews, the bishops of Lincoln and Ely, 
and a large retinue of mounted and well-armed soldiers. 
Seeing this, the king, suspecting treason, ordered his followers 
to arm themselves and be ready to defend him, if need should 
arise. While the king was engaged with the bishops in treat- 

^ We are here furnished with the name of the writer of this con- 
tinuation of the Chronicle of Florence of Worcester. He must have 
been living when Ordericus Vitalis visited Worcester, in his joux'ney 
to England, about the year 1124. Both their works and probably 
their lives closed in 1141. Ordericus tells us that he saw at Worcester 
the continuation on which John was, doubtless, engaged at the time 
of his visit; but he is mistaken in attributing the original Chronicle 
to this John, instead of Florence. See the remarks in the preface to 
this volume, and a note in vol. i., p. 493, of Ordericus Vitalis, Bohn's 
Antiq. Lib. 


Iiig of various aftairs, a furious quarrel arose between the two 
j)arties of soldiers respecting their quarters; and tlie king's 
troops flying to arms, the bishops' men took to flight, leaving 
all their baggage behind, Roger, bishop of Salisbury, with 
the bishop of Lincoln and his son Roger, surnamed The Poor, 
were taken ; the bishop of Ely made his escape, and havino; 
reached the castle of Devizes, fortified it and held it against 
the king. The king, much incensed, went in pursuit of him, 
placing the bishops he had arrested in custody ; Roger in the 
crib of an ox-house, and the other in a mean hut, while he 
threatened to hang the third, unless the castle was speedily 
surrendered to him. Roger finding this, and alarmed for his 
son, bound himself by an oath that he would neither eat nor 
drink until the king had possession of the castle ; which oath 
he kej)t, and neither ate nor drank for tliree days.^ 

[Transactions at Bristol and Bath, Sfc] 

The king proceeded thenee with his royal attendants to 
London. But Geoffrey de Talbot, deserting with his followers, 
went over to the son of the earl of Gloucester, who held 
Bristol castle against the king, and devoted himself to its 
defence. One dav, under colour of giving assistance to a 
certain straggler, but more, as it subsequently appeared, with 
a view to reconnoitre Bath and afterwards assault it, he took 
liis way there in company with two valiant knights, William 
Hoset and another.''^ This being discovered, Robert, the 
bisliop of Bath, thinking to triumph over the king's enemies, 
drew out a body of soldiers, and marched cautiously against 
him. Two of them fled, but Geoffrey was taken and placed 
in custody. The garrison of Bristol, being much enraged at 
this, marched to Bath with a threatening aspect under the 
son of the earl, their lord, and sent a message to the bishoj), 
threatening that unless their comrade, Geoffi'ey, was released, 

' Ct". the account of the circumstances attending the seizure of the 
bishops and their castles, in Henry of Huntingdon s History, p. 271, 
Autit/. Lib ; (iesta Stephani, ibid, 370, &c.; and William of Malmes- 
bury, ibid, 507. 

^ In the " Gesta Stephani," we find that Geoffrey's cousin, Gilbert 
de liacy, was his conij)anion in this enterprise. See in this work fuller 
detiiils than those given by our author, of the transactions of this year 
in the West of Englandj p. 350 — 357. 


they would hang the bishop and his followers on a gallows. 
Upon this, the bishop, apprehensive, like a mercenary soldier, 
for the lives of himself and his people, brought forth Geoffrey 
from custody, and delivered him to them, in compliance with 
their demands. When this reached the king's ears, he was 
inflamed with anger against the bishop, regarding him as the 
abettor of his enemies ; and he would probably have taken 
from him his pastoral staiF, though in so doing he would rather 
have been actuated by his animosity than by his love of peace. 
But as the bishop had acted under restraint and against his 
will, the king " gave not place to his wrath," upon which, 
according to the apostolical precept, it is sinful to " let the 
sun go down." 

Soon afterwards the king moved his army towards Bristol, 
where, in those times, infernal cruelties, befitting the reigns 
of Nero or Decius, were exercised by a kinsman of the earl, 
whose name was Philip Gray. By his agency, a variety of 
bitter torments were invented there, which, afterwards 
introduced far and wide in every part of England, nearly 
reduced the island to ruin. The king, therefore, having 
wasted and burnt the lands and vills of the earl of Glou- 
cester in that neighbourhood, besieged the castle for some 
time. At last, weary of the length of the siege, he drew oft 
to besiege the earl's other castles, CarifF in Dorsetshire,^ and 
Harptree in Somersetshire, and having constructed forts 
over against them, and garrisoned them with soldiers, he 
departed, and marched with his whole army to attack Dudley 
Castle, which Ralph Paganel had fortified against^ him. 
Having given the surounding country to the flames, and 
seized and carried oft" large herds of cattle, he went by sea, 
with a large body of troops, to besiege Shrewsbury Castle, 
which William Fitz- Allan held against him. Hearing, how- 
ever, of the king's approach, he secretly escaped, with his 
wife and children, and some others, leaving those in the 
castle who had sworn to be true to him, and never surrender 
it. After the castle had been besieged for some days, accord- 
ing to the accounts of those who were well-informed, a ma- 
chine of this sort was prepared : — A large structure of 
timber was put together and brought forward ; the castle 

' Castle Gary, as well as Harptree, is in Somersetshire. 


dit<jh was filled by the king's command ; fire was kindled ; 
and the smoke, rising in the air, smothered all. Tlie royal gate 
liaving been forced open, the whole garrison attem])ted to make 
their escape miserably, by leaping from or creeping out of the 
castle; but the king gave orders that they should be pursued 
and put to death. Five of the men of higl)est rank among 
them were hung. The enemy being vanquisihed, tiie king 
departed tlience and proceeded to attack Wareliam ; but a 
treaty having been entered into, Ralph Paganel and the king 
made a truce for a time. 

Meanwhile, tlie before-mentioned earl of Bristol, and Mih) 
the constable, having made a league against the king, and 
al)jured the fealty wiiich they had sworn to him, despatched 
envoys to invite the ex-empress, king Henry's daughter ; 
promising her that within the space of five months she should 
}>e in possession of her father's kingdom, according to the 
allegiance which had been sworn to her in his lifetime. This 
was the beginning of troubles. This defection, tlie most 
serious of all, nay, almost the concluding one, brought ruin 
on the whole country. 

[Irruption of the Scots, and Battle of the Standard.] 

Durino: these events, David, king of Scotland, made a third 
irruption from the borders of his kingdom, with large bands 
both of horse and foot, and began to set on fire farms, towns, 
and castles, on the confines of Northumbria, and lay waste 
nearly all the country. But as he threatened at last to 
])ursue his inroad as far as York and the Humber, Thurstan, 
archbishop of York, had a conference with the Yorkshiremen, 
and prevailed on tliem all, with one consent, to take the oath 
of fealty to king Stephen, and resist the king of Scots. 
Davi<l, however, was still more incensed at this, and rejecting 
all advice to the contrary, and reaching the river Tees on the 
octave of the Assumption of St. Mary [22nd August], which 
happened on a Monday, he determined to surprise our troops, 
tliere being a thick fog in the morning of that day. Hoping, 
in consequence, to come upon us unawares, he left many 
vills untouched, and would not suffer his men to set fire to 
any place, as they usually did. Meanwhile, our troops being 
warned by a squire, though somewhat late so that they were 


nearly taken by surprise, armed themselves, and drew up in 
order of battle with the utmost despatch, sending out archers 
in fi'ont, by whom the Scots were severely galled. Then the 
king's barons marched with the knights, having all dis- 
mounted and stationed themselves in the first rank, and thus 
fought hand-in-hand with the enemy. The conflict was 
ended, and victory secured at the very first onset, for the 
Scots gave way, and either fell or fled in the greatest alarm. 
Our men, however, being on foot, and having caused all their 
horses to be led to some distance, were unable to continue 
the pursuit long, otherwise they would have taken or put to 
the sword the king himself, with his son, and all his immediate 
attendants. Of his army, nearly ten thousand men fell in 
different places, and as many as fifty persons of rank were 
made prisoners. The vanquished king himself escaped by 
flight, overwhelmed with terror and shame. His chancellor, 
William Comyn, was taken by the bishop of Durham ; but 
being set at liberty, he gave thanks to God, heartily hoping 
he should never again fall into such a scrape. The kings 
son reached Carlisle on foot, attended by a single knight ; and 
his father escaped with some difficulty through the woods and 
thickets to Roxburgh. He had led an innumerable army con- 
sisting of French, as well as English, Scots, Galwegians, and 
the people of all the isles which owed him allegiance, but nine- 
teen only out of two hundred of his mailed knights carried 
back their armour ; for every one left nearly all that he had 
to become the spoil of the enemy, so that an immense booty, 
both of horses, arms, and clothing, and many other things, 
was taken from his army. Eustace Fitz-John, who had 
joined his expedition, met with a similar fate, having been 
wounded, and barely escaping with life to his castle. Among 
the valiant men who, in Christ's name, fought on behalf of 
king Stephen, were the earl of Albemarle, Bernard de 
Baliol, and many others, but the earl was distinguished for 
his bravery in the battle.^ 

On his return, the king of Scots, in order to encourage his 
adherents and console himself, laid siege with all his force, 

' A more detailed account of this famous " Battle of the Standard " 
will be found in Henry of Huntingdon's History, pp. 267, &c. \_Antig. 
Lib.}, and in Roger of Wendover, ibid, p. 489. Cf. also William of 
Newbury, Trivet, and Rieval " de Bello Standard!," in Twysden 


and various engines and machines, to the castle of VVark, or 
Carron, belonging to Walter d' Epec, from which he had been 
driven b}- the earl of Mellent ; but the garrison making a 
stout and desperate resistance, lie had no success, for they made 
frequent sallies, and either cut in j)ieces or burnt his engines, 
besides killing many of his soldiers ; wherefore, at last, he 
despaired of being able to take it. 

[Atmospheric phenomena — Great wealth left by Roger, 
Bishop of Saluhury.\ 

On the seventh day of the month of October, when the 
moon was twenty-nine days old, in the dusk of the evening 
before Saturday, the whole firmament towards the north 
appeared of a red colour, and rays of various hues were seen 
blended and flitting. Perhaps these signs portended the 
vast effusion of blood in Northumberland, and many other 
places throughout England, of which we have spoken. A 
most pious monk, named Wilham, belonging to the cell of 
Eye, having been elected, was ordained abbot of Pershore by 
Simon, bishop of Worcester, on Sunday, the twelfth of the 
calends of December [20th November! Roger, bishop of 
Salisbury, a groat builder of castles and fortified mansions, 
being worn to death with grief and vexation, died at his 
episcopal seat on the second of the nones [the 4tlj] of De- 
eembei", and was buried in that church, leaving in his castles 
immense sums of money, which fell not into the hands of 
God, but of king Stephen. There are those who say that 
more than forty thousand silver marks w^re found there, and 
tliat he had likewise hoarded a vast amount of gold, and a 
variety of ornaments, and knew not for whom he had gathered 
them.^ He enriched the church dedicated to St. Mary, mother 
of Gorl, with magnificent ornaments. 

[A Synod held at London.^ 

In the year of our Lord lli38, and in tlie ninth of the 
pontificate of poj)e Innocent, and the third of the reign of 
king Stephen, a synod was held at London, in the church of 

' For the character of Ropier, bishop of Salisbury, see " Gesta 
Ste[-liani," p. 370, and Williiiui of Malmcsbury, p. 607. 


St. Peter the apostle, at Westminster, on the thirteenth of 
the month of Deoemh»er. In this synod, after much canvass- 
ing, SLsteen canons were published with universal consent. 
It was presided ov-er by Alberie, bishop of Ostia, the legate 
of the said lord pope in England and Scotland; and attended 
by the bishops of different dioceses, to the number of seven- 
teen, by about t hirty abbots, and an immense multitude of the 
clergy and people. 

^A new Abbot at Gloucester.] 

f A.D. 1139. The feast of our Lord's Xativiry being passed, 
and that of the Purilication of St. Marv, his mother, drawing 
nigh, the venerable father Walter, abbot of Gloucester, ga^ 
up the ghost about the third hour of the day, after hold- 
ing his preferment nine years and a half ; he was buried by 
the venerable abbots, Reynold of Evesham, and Roger < 
Tewksbuiy, on the sixth of the ides [the 8th] of FebniarA'. 
After lus interment, two of the brethren were sent to Clur ' 
to fetch our^ lord-elect, Gilbert ; king Stephen having, on th 
report of his eminent worth, and at the request of Milo, h> 
et^nstable, conferred upon him at London the preferment c: 
the abbey of Gloucester. Theobald, archbishop of Canter- 
bury. Simon, bishop of Worcester, Roger, bishop of Coventry 
Robert, bishop of Exeter, and Reynold, abbot of Eveshaii.. 
having been unanimously chosen, proceeded bv the pope - 
command to the threshold of St. Peter. On their arrival. 
they were received with great honour by the apostolic see, 
and allowed seats in the Roman council, a circumstance 
widioot paraUd for many ages before. Having there freely 
opened their business, they returned home with joy. bringing 
with them the synodal decrees, now recorded far and wide 
throughout England. The two mouks who had been sent to 
bring over the lord-abbot Gilbert, also retiimed in safety, and 
presented him to king Stephen, who received him graciously, 
and conferred on him, to hold freely, the fief of the church of 
Gloucester. He came to Worcester on the feast of Whitsun- 
tide, which fell on the third of the ides [the 11th] of June, 

^ It has been siroposed, from this expression, that the continuator 
was a monk of Gloucester ; bat he speaks thus of the new abbot as 
beio^ii^ to bis own diocese of Worcester. 

A.D. 1139.] Stephen's progress. 267 

and was there ordained, with great rejoioinirs and di^Tne 
lauds, by the venerable Robert, bishop of Hereford ; and 
going from thence on the following day, wns installed at 
Gloucester with great joy and exultation, and the acclama- 
tions of the commonalty of both orders, in a manner befitting 
such a man in the Lord. 

[Kin^ SUph^n at Worcester^ Hereford, and Oxford.] 

Within the octave of Easter, which happened on the second 
of the calends of May [30th April], Stephen, the magnificent 
king of England, coming to Worcester, with a royal retinue, 
was received with great festivity by the clergy and the people 
of the city and neighbourhood, in solemn procession. The 
prayers being endet), and the blessing given as usual, the 
king took his royal ring from his finger, and offered it on the 
altar; and on the morrow it was returned to him, by common 
consent of the monks. Therefore the king, remarking with 
surprise the humility and devotion of the flock of the church 
of Worcester, yea, rather of the Lord, took back his ring, as 
he had been adjured to do for the love of St. 3tlary, mother 
of God. After his departure from Worcester, the king en- 
camped at Ludlow, where he caused forts to be erected in two 
positions, and stationed strong bodies of troops in them to 
assault the castle, which held out against him ; and then 
returning, by way of Worcester, marched towards London. 
Some of the soldiers, unsparing in their execrable warfare, 
and driven by their headstrong courage, determined to try 
their strength on Ludlow. To ac-complish this undertaking, 
large bodies of troops began to flock together. It was truly 
a pitiable sight to l>ehold one poising his spear acainst 
another, and running him through ; thus putting him to death, 
without thinking what would be the judgment the spirit 
would receive. Eut king Stephen checked such designs, by 
the terror of his threats; and going a se<- ' ' ^"^e to Ludlow, 
by way of Worcester, settled all tliings , 'y, and then 

made a quiet and joyful journey to Oxford — that is, the 
ox-ford. While he stayed there, a charge of r- ' '^' • -- - -ly 

requiring it, he arrested Roger, bi^lJop of S is 

nephew, the bishop of Lincoln, and also Roger, his chancellor, 
for engaging in a treasoiuible oon^Mncr against his crcwn. 


an(J committed them to custody. On hearing this, Nigel, bishop 
of Ely, fearing for himself and his adherents, fled with a body 
of soldiers to Devizes, that he might find protection there. 
The case of these bishops has been already more fully stated 
in this work ;^ but it appears to have been brought to a point 
in the present year. In a council afterwards held it was 
enacted that all fortified towns^ castles, and strong places 
whatever, throughout England, devoted mainly to secular 
purposes, should submit to the jurisdiction of the king and his 
barons ; but that churchmen, namely, the bishops, whom I will 
call God's watch-dogs, should not cease to bark in defence of 
their flock, and take every care lest the invisible wolf, their 
malignant foe, should tear and scatter the sheep. 

[The Empress and the Earl, her Brother, land in England. ^ 

In the month of October, the earl of Gloucester, son of 
king Henry, late king of England, but a bastard, with his 
sister by the father's side, formerly empress of the Romans, 
and now countess of Anjou, returned to England with a large 
army, and landed at Portsmouth, before the feast of St. Peter 
ad Yincula, on the calends [the 1st] of August, while the 
king was besieging Marlborough ; and their arrival filled all 
England with alarm. On receiving this intelligence, Stephen, 
king of England, was much disturbed in his mind, and in 
great wrath with those whose duty it was vigilantly to guard 
the sea-ports. He is the king of peace, and would that he 
were also the king of vigour and justice, treading under foot 
his enemies, determining all things by the balance of equal 
justice, and in the power of his might protecting and strength- 
ening the friends of peace. When, however, he learned that 
the ex-queen^ had received the ex-empress, with her large 
band of retainers, at Arundel, he was much displeased, and 
marched his army thither. But she, being awed by the king's 
majesty, and fearing that she might lose the rank she held in 
England, swore solemnly that no enemy of his had come to 
England on her invitation ; but that, saving her dignity, she 
had granted hospitality to persons of station, who were for- 
merly attached to her. The king, on hearing this, dismissed 

' See before, p. 260. 

^ Alice, widow of Henry I., who had Arundel Castle for her dower. 


her, and ordered the bishop of Winchester to conduct the ex- 
enipress with lionoiir, as slie was his cousin, to her brother, at 
I'ristol castle, while he himself went in pursuit of the earl. 
But hearing nothing certain about him, for he had taken to 
certain by-roads for a time, he led his troops to another 
quarter, as ho had planned. Milo, the constable, having ab- 
jured his oath of allegiance to the king, went over to the earl 
of Gloucester, his liege-lord, with a large body of troops, pro- 
mising him on his fealty to lend him help against the king. 
The calamities which flowed from this quarter, namely, the 
city of Bristol, and spread over all England, are beyond the 
knowledge or eloquence of man to describe ; for of those who 
opposed him, or obeyed the royal authority, as many as could 
be taken were made prisoners, and all the captives were 
thrown into chains, and subjected to horrible tortures. New 
varieties of cruel punishment were invented ; mercenary 
troops were enlisted in every direction for carrying on the 
work of destruction, to whom w^as giv'en, or sold for their pay, 
the inhabitants of the villages and farms, with all their goods 
and substance.^ 

[The Empress at Bristol Castle — Cruelties at Gloucester.^ 

This lady stayed at Bristol more than two months, receiving 
liomage from all, and exercising the prerogatives of the croun 
of England at her pleasure. She went there in the month of 
October, and came on the eighteenth of the calends of No- 
vember [15th October] to Gloucester, where she received the 
submission and homage of the citizens and the people of the 
neighbourhood. But tortures worthy of Decius and Nero, 
and death in various shapes, were inflicted on those who 
refused to do her homage, and chose to maintain their fealty 
to the king ; and the city, glorious in ])ast ages, was filled 
with shrieks and fearful torments, and became horrible to 
those who inhabited it. In the midst of these miseries the 
king laid siege to the castle of Wallingford, which stood out 
against him. Weary of the long siege, and having erected 
forts in opposition to it, he marched away, and encamped near 
Malmesbury, where he also threw up works against his adver- 
saries, the authors of rebellion: 

" See an account of these atrocities in the " Gesta Stophani,"" 
p. 353. 


[The City and Cathedral of Worcester Sacked.] 

Meanwhile sad tidings came to the ears of the citizens of 
Worcester. It was generally reported that the city would, 
ere long, be sacked by the enemy, and, having been pillaged, 
be set on fire. Terrified by these reports, the citizens of 
Worcester consulted as to what was best to be done. After 
this council they had recourse for refuge in their misery to 
the sanctuary of the most high God the Father, and his most 
blessed Mother, and committed themselves and all theirs to 
his divine protection, under their patron saints, SS. Oswald 
and Wulfstan, bishops of that city. Then might be seen 
crowds of the citizens carrying their goods into the church. 
Oh, wretched sight ! Behold the house of God, which should 
have been entered with oblations, where the sacrifice of praise 
should have been ofi'ered, and the most solemn vows paid, 
seems now but a warehouse for furniture ! Behold the prin- 
cipal conventual church of the whole diocese is converted 
into quarters for the townsmen, and a sort of council-chamber ; 
for little room is left for the servants of God in a hostelry 
crowded with chests and sacks. Within is heard the chaunt 
of the clergy, without the M'^ailing of children ; and the notes of 
the choir are mingled with the sobs of infants at the breast, 
and the cries of sorrowing mothers. Oh, misery of miseries 
to behold ! There stands the high altar, stripped of its orna- 
ments, the crucifix removed, and the image of Mary, the most 
holy Mother of God, taken away. Curtains and palls, albs 
and copes, stoles and chasubles, are secreted in recesses of the 
walls. All that gave grace and pomp to the celebration of 
divine service, on the festivals of the saints, all the wonted 
magnificence, had vanished. These things were all put out of 
the way, from fear of the enemy, lest he should come upon 
tliem by surprise, and sweeping off all he could lay hands on, 
succeed in his insane enterprise. 

In the beginning of the winter, one morning at day-break, 
namely, on Tuesday, the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of No- 
vember, when we were engaged in the church at lauds,^ and 

^ It will be observed that our author here speaks of himself as one 
of the monks of the church of Worcester engaged in the choir ser- 
vice, when these trying occurrences, which he describes as an eye- 
witness, took place. 

A.D. 1139.] "WORCESTER SACKED, 271 

had already chaunted primes, behold the reports we had heard 
tor many days were realised. A numerous and powerful army 
arrived from the south, the centre of mischief. The city of 
Gloucester had risen in arms, and, supported by a countless 
host of horse and foot, marched to attack, pilhige, and burn 
the city of Worcester. We now, in alarm for the treasures of 
the sanctuary, put on our albs, and, while the bells tolled, 
V)ore the relies of Oswald, our most gentle patron, out of the 
church, in suppliant procession ; and, as the enemy were 
rushing in from one gate to the other, carried them througl* 
the cemetery. The enemy, collected in a body, hasten first 
to assault a strong fort, which stands in the southern quarter 
of the city, near the castle. Our people make a brave and 
obstinate resistance. The enemy being repulsed at this point, 
as beacons were lighted on the north side of the city, they 
endeavour to make an entrance in that quarter. I'here being 
no fortifications on that side, the entire host rushes tumul- 
tuously in, mad with fury, and sets tire to the houses in many 
j)arts. Alas ! a considerable portion of the city is destroyed, 
but most of it remains standing and unburnt. Immense 
I)lunder is carried off, consisting of chattels of all kinds, from 
the city, and of oxen, sheep, cattle, and horses from the 
country. Many people are taken in the streets and suburbs, 
and dragged into miserable captivity, coupled like hounds. 
Wliether they have the means, or have them not, whatever 
their cruel foes fix for their ransom they are forced to promise 
on oath to pay, and to discharge the amount. These things 
are done on the first day of a winter, which will, doubtless, be 
very severe to the wretched sufferers. 

And now, the plunder being carried off, and numbers of 
buildings burnt, the host of tierce revellers draw off, never to 
return on such a foul enterprise. The earP came to Wor- 
cester on the thirteenth of November, and, beholding the 
ravages of the flames, mourned over the city, and felt that the 
evil was done to himself. Wherefore, burning for revenge, 

' Not the earl of Gloucester, it is evident. The author's words are 
— Comes civilatts Wigomiam venit. During the reii^a of Henry 1. 
Waller de lieaucharup was vi.'^count or sheriff of Worcestershire, in 
right of his wifV; Eniincline, daughter and heiress of Urso d'Ahitol, 
appointed to that ottice by the (Joncjueror. On the accession of 
kia{^ Stephen he deprived William de Jieauchamp, who had succeeded 


he hastened to Sudely, with a body of troops, having heard 
that John Fitz-Harold had revolted against the king, atid 
joined the earl of Gloucester. If it be inquired what the 
earl did there, the reply is such as it is scarcely fit to record : 
returning evil for evil, he seized the people, their goods, and 
cattle ; and, carrying them off, returned the next day to 

\King Stephen at Worcester and Hereford.'] 

After these events, the king, with a large army, marched 
from Oxford to Worcester ; and, having before his eyes what 
he had before heard of its disaster, he mourned over it. Halting 
there for three or four days, he conferred the dignity of con- 
stable, of which he had deprived Milo of Grloucester, on 
William, the son of Walter de Beauchamp, sheriff of Wor- 
cestershire.^ Here a report reached the king that his enemiee, 
having violated their sworn promises of peace, had assaulted 
Hereford, and forced an entrance into the monastery of St. 
Ethel bert, king and martyr, as if it had been a fortified castle. 
The king, therefore, put himself in march, and encamped at 
Little Hereford, or Leominster, where some of the inhabitants, 
taking counsel, swore fealty to him ; while others refusing, 
sent him this message : " Although we will not swear, the 
king may, if he pleases, trust to the truth of our words." 
The holy days of Advent being close at hand [3rd December], 
a truce was agreed on betw^een them, and the king returned 

his father, Walter, of that dignity, and for a time gave the castle and 
city of Worcester to Waleran, earl of Mellent, with the title of earl 
of Worcester. This nobleman is therefore probably the person meant 
by our author; and what appears in the text is agreeable to the cha- 
racter given of him by the author of " Gesta Stephani," p. 309. He 
did not, however, long retain his honours in Worcestershire, being 
deprived of them by the empress Maud. 

^ See the preceding note. We are unable to account for this act of 
favour on the part of king Stephen to one of a family who were the 
most strenuous adherents of Henry I., his daughter the empress, and 
Henry HI.; under all whom they held the offices of steward sheriff of 
Worcestershire and Warwickshire, and constable. William de Beau- 
champ, fourth in descent from Walter, married Isabel, the heiress of 
WiUiam Mauduit, earl of Warwick ; acquired that title in her right, 
and became the ancester of the powerful family of Beauchamp of 
Warwick. The earls Beauchamp of the present day are descended 
from Walter, of Powick, a younger son of William and Isabel. 

A.D. 1140.] KING Stephen's progresses. 273 

to Worcester, where a certain clerk of eminent piety, Maurice 
by name, who had been elected by the clergy and people to 
the church of Bangor, was presented to the king at tlie castle, 
by Robert, bishop of Hereford, and Sigefrid, bishop of 
Chichester, wlio, bearing him company, attested his canonical 
election and fitness for the office of bishop ; and the king con- 
firmed the appointment. But being urged by the bishops to 
do homage to tlie king, he replied that he could in no wise do 
so. " There is," he said, " among us a man of great piety, 
whom I consider as my spiritual father, and who was arch- 
deacon to my predecessor David, and he forbade me to take 
this oath." To which they made answer, " Reason requires 
that you should do as we have done." Whereupon he said, 
" If you, who are men of high authority, have done this, I will 
not further hesitate to do the same." He therefore swore 
fealty to the king. 

[Kinff Stephen goes to Oxford j and thence to Salisbury.'] 

From Worcester the king proceeded to Oxford, and from 
thence, with his court, to Salisbury, where he intended to 
celebrate the feast of Christmas, and, as was the royal custom, 
to wear his crown. The canons presented him with two 
thousand pounds, and he granted them entire exemption from 
all taxes on their lands ; moreover, he gave them twenty 
marks for their own use, and forty for roofing the church ; 
and promised that when peace was restored, he would refund 
to them what they had bestowed upon him. 

[The King at Reading — Marches against Ely.'] 

[a.d. 1140.] A few days after Christmas, the king and 
his court proceeded to Reading, where a lesson is taught by 
the lot of mortals concerning the little value of kingly pomp.^ 
While there, by the advice of his council, he gave pastors of 
their own to two abbeys, Malmesbury and Abbotsbury, which 
bishop Roger, as long as he lived, had shorn of their honours 
and kept in his own hands. Malmesbury abbey he bestowed 
on John, a monk of great worth, and that of Abbotsbury on 
another named Geoftrey. Then, in order to secure peace, 

' This is probably an allusion to the pompous intormont of Henry 
II., not long before, in the abbey of Reading. See p. 250. 



and put an end to warfare, wliicli I call a vain thing, he pre- 
pared an expedition against Ely ; a measure much to be de- 
plored, because it tended to increase the arrogance of the 
soldiery, by satisfying their love of vain glory. They enlist 
themselves, they accept the terms, they array themselves in 
arms, and the conqueror seizes all that belongs to the van- 
quished, according to stipulations founded on the detestable 
love of gain ; and, if I may compare great things with small, 
■they whisper to one another, like Judah and his brother 
Jonathan, dwelling in the land of Gilead, to Joseph and 
Azarias : " Let us also get us a name, and go fig'ht against 
the heathen that are round about us."^ They deal wounds 
with sword and spear, little heeding what will be the fat« of 
the miserable souls of the slain. During the rebellion of 
those who revolted against the king, many on both sides were 
wounded, taken prisoners, and thrown into confinement. The 
bishop of Ely, finding the valour of the king and the impetu- 
osity of his troops, gave way, nay, fled like a hireling, and 
retiring to the neighbourhood of Gloucestershire, went over 
to earl Robert. Nor was it to be wondered at, for he had 
lost, as it were, his right hand, when his uncle, Roger, bishop 
of Salisbury, died. The king took possession of Ely castle, 
and placed his own soldiers in it.^ 

[Thurstan, Archbishop of York, retires to Ponfefract.] 

Thurstan, the twenty-sixth archbishop of York in succes- 
sion, a man advanced in years and full of days, put off the 
old man and put on the new, retiring from worldly affairs, 
and becoming a monk at Pontefract, on the twelfth of the ides 
of February [21st January], and departing this life in a good 
old age, on the nones [the 5thJ of February, he lies buried 

[Winchcomhe and other places attacked.] 

Milo, the ex-constable, having assembled a numerous body 
of troops, assaulted Winchcombe on Thursday, the second of 
the calends of February [31st January], and burnt the 
greatest part of the place, which he plundered ; and carried 
off those whom he had stripped of their goods, to exact from 

^ Maccab, e. v. 55—57. ^ See « Gesta Stephani," pp. 371—373. 

AD. 1140.] THE CIVIL WARS. 275 

them, most unjustly, the ^lammon of unrighteousness [in the 
shape of ransom]. Thence he diverged to Sudely, but whilst 
he was meditating an attack, the royal garrison of the place 
fell on him, and forced him to retreat, leaving, as it is re- 
ported, two of his men dead on the spot, and fifteen taken 
prisoners. The king and the earl of Worcester came with a 
large army to Worcester, and after a few days, the earl first, 
and tlien the king, advanced to Little Hereford in great force, 
for the purpose of driving out their enemies. During the 
king's abode in those parts, the earl, mindful of tlie injuries 
received from his townsmen, attacked Tewkesbury with a 
strong body of men-at-arms, and burnt the magnificent house 
of the earl of Gloucester, which was within a mile of Glou- 
cester, and everything in its vicinity, as well as some property 
belonging to others ; but, yielding to the supplications of the 
lord abbot and monks of Tewkesbury, he spared their posses- 
sions. Having taken much spoil, both of men and of their 
goods and cattle, he was moved by clemency to order the 
release of the captives, and permit them to return to their 
homes ; and on the morrow he returned to Worcester, declar- 
ing to all that he had scarcelv ever made such a confla2:ration 
either in Xormandy or England. The king, also, on his return 
to Worcester, set forward on the road to Oxford. 

The before-mentioned Maurice and Uhtred were conse- 
crated bishops of Bangor and LlandaiF by Theobald, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, assisted by the bishops of Hereford 
and Exeter. The king, on his arrival at Winchester, by the 
advice of his barons, gave the bishopric of Salisbury to Philip, 
his chancellor, and the abbey of Fecamp to Henry, a monk 
who was his kinsman. The sun was eclipsed while the moon was 
in the tail of the Dragon, but it illumined the head. 

A compact was made between Philip, king of France, and 
Ste])hen, king of England, after consulting their barons, that 
Steplien's son should marry the sister of the king of France. 
The betrothal took place abroad in the month of February, 
in the presence of the queen-mother of England and a great 
number of English nobles there assembled. 

[Hobert FitZ'Huhertj a Freebooter.] 

Tliere was a certain knight, whose name was Robert, the 
son of a nobleman named Hubert. This man, fearing neither 

T 2 


God nor man, but trusting solely to his own might, took the 
castle of Malmesbury by a well-devised stratagem. Some of 
the king's knights, who were quartered there, took refuge in 
the church of St. Aldhelm, the bishop, for sanctuary. Pressing 
these to surrender, he one day burst into the chapter-house 
of the monks, at the head of armed men, and with terrible 
threats required them, on pain of confiscation of their pro- 
perty, to give up the illustrious royalists, with their 
horses. They, however, in horror at permitting the 
peace of God, and their patron, St. Aldhelm, being 
broken, refused to consent to his demand ; but at last, al- 
though reluctantly, to appease his fury, they gave up the 
horses. After Robert Fitz-Hubert had held the castle for 
some time, and had exhausted the whole neighbourhood by - 
his ravages, the king came to its succour, and besieged the 
place for nearly eight days. William d'Ypres, a kinsman, they 
say, of this Robert, was the go-between for the surrender of 
the castle, and settled, at last, with the king, terms of peace — 
the castle being given up, with entire submission to his royal 
rights ; which was done. 

Meanwhile, Robert joined the earl of Gloucester, proposing 
to stay with him for a time, but all the while meditating 
treachery. Not long afterwards, as he had neither sense nor 
inclination to follow a right course, but still thirsted for 
blood, he betook himself, with his own retainers, to Devizes, 
without the earl's knowledge ; and having first made a com- 
pact with his followers, that the castle, once taken, should 
never be surrendered, he scaled the wall by force or strata- 
gem,^ and sounded the note of triumph to the king's soldiers 
in the garrison, stormed by surprise the exterior forts, and 
made many the victims of his cruelty. Four days afterwards, 
by force or fraud, he got possession of the citadel within, and, 
in the pride of his heart, ravaged every part of the neigh- 
bourhood by day and by night, doing incessantly all the 
damage he could. At last, he repaired to John, a knight of 
renown, who then held the castle of Marlborough under fealty 
to the king, and required him, with threats, to follow his 

^ He gained the summit in the night time by means of scaling ladders 
made of thongs. Cf. the account of this ruffian in the " Gesta 
Stephani," pp. 374, &c. Malmesbury also gives some strange anec- 
dotes of his barbarity. 

A.D. 1140.] THE CIVIL WARS. 277 

advice, or rather his injunction, and agree with him and hold 
with him in wreaking his satanic malice, not only on the king, 
but on the earl and every one else ; menacing him, on his 
refusal, that he should forfeit his life when lie least expected 
it. John replied : " In tlie name of God, I would rather 
make another man my prisoner than be taken myself;" and 
inmiediately seized him, and throwing him into confinement, 
in just retaliation caused all the tortures which he had inflicted 
on others to be exhausted on himself. 

The earl of Gloucester, and Milo, the ex- constable, hearing 
of these occurrences, came to the said John, with many fol- 
lowers, and the earl promised to give him five hundred marks, 
on condition that he should deliver Robert to him on a set 
day, upon receiving good hostages from himself. John, won 
over by the promise of the money and the hostages, delivered 
Robert to the earl, on the terms of his being restored to him 
within fifteen days. This compact being made, the earl re- 
turned to Gloucester, taking Robert with him. They then 
treated respecting the castle of Devizes, of which the earl 
required at his hands a voluntary surrender. Robert, how- 
ever, refused, being loth to break the oath he had made to 
his comrades, that the castle should never be given up. 
But being terrified by threats of being hung on a gallows, in 
Older to save his life, he engaged to yield to the demand. 
Within the time fixed by the agreement, this rufiian was led 
back to the presence of John ; to whom the earl told all that 
had hap|)ened, and how John, terrified by his threats, had 
promised to deliver up the castle. He also requested him 
again to permit Robert to accompany him to Devizes, pledg- 
ing himself that if he should chance to obtain possession of 
the castle, it should be given up to John, to be held under 
fealty to Iiim. The earl's proposal being acceded to, he im- 
mediately returned to Devizes with Robert. In the mean- 
time, the said John sent letters to all, both within and without 
the castle, assuring them, on his solemn oath, that neither he 
nor the earl would do any injury to Robert ; any how, they 
were to see to it that their oath not to give up the castle to 
any one was faithfully adhered to. The earl returned to 
Gloucester, leaving the ex-constable and a man of great 
power, nanuMl Humphrey, with some others, behind him ; 
with general orders that, if Robert refused to make a volun- 


tary surrender of the castle, he should be hung. Eobert did 
refuse, and his friends refused also, lest they should appear 
perjured. In short, after his two nephews had been hanged, 
he was taken and hanged also. All praise be to God who 
delivered up the wicked I 

Before the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], the earl 
of Gloucester marched his army towards Bath, but the king- 
had long before despatched light troops to watch the enemy's 
motions, and place an ambuscade for the defence of themselves 
and the country. The two parties met ; on the one side 
were the king's troops, among whom were two knights, John 
and Roger, both men of spirit and courage ; on the other 
side were the earl's retainers. Many were taken prisoners ; 
more were wounded and slain ; one of whom, Geoffrey 
Talbot,^ a bold but crafty knight, now joining the king, 
now the earl, and thus steeped in treachery, was mortally 
wounded, and dying in consequence on the eleventh of the 
calends of September [22 August], was buried with the 
canons at Gloucester. The royal troops, however, gained 
the victory. 

[Nottingham plundered and burnt.] 

Before the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September], Robert, 
son of king Henry, instigated by Ralph Paganel, took with 
him the knights of the earl of Warwick, and with those he 
drew out of Gloucestershire and a great body of common 
soldiers, made a sudden attack on the town of Nottingham, 
and finding there was no force to defend it, commenced 
plundering it, the townsmen from all quarters taking refuge 
in the churches. One of these, who was reported to be a 
wealthy man, having been laid hold of, was led tightly bound 
to his house that he might be forced to give up his money. 
The man conducted the free-booters, over greedy for spoil, into 
a chamber underground, where all his household wealth was 
supposed to be stored. But while they were intent upon 
pillage and breaking open doors and locks, he cunningly 
slipped away, and gaining the chambers and then the hall, 
closed all the doors behind them and fastened them with 

^ See *' Gesta Stephani," pp. 361 — 376. — Antiq. Lib. It was this 
Geoffrey Talbot wtio sacked and burnt Hereford. See before, pp. 261 
and 272. 



bolts. He then set fire to his house and consigned the buildings 
and all his goods, together with the robbers, to the flames. 
It is reported tliat more tluin thirty men wlio were in the 
cellar perished by the fire, and some say that it spread 
througli the whole town and burnt it to the ground ; for, the 
knights and the whole army swore that they were guiltless 
of having set it on fire. Thus the whole place was consumed, 
and all who could be taken outside the churches were carried 
into captivity ; some of them as far as Gloucester. The rest 
of the common people, men, women and children, who had 
fled to the churches, not daring to come forth for fear of 
being taken l)y the enemy, nearly all perished as the churches 
fell a prey to the raging conflagration. It was a cruel sight, 
and even the enemy were filled with sorrow when they be- 
held the temples of God, which even the heathen would 
have spared, consumed by fire. Thus Nottingham was laid 
in ruins ; a most noble town, which from the time of the 
Norman conquest of England to the present had flourished 
in the greatest peace and tranquillity, and abounded in wealth 
of all kinds and a numerous population. 

A certain monk, of profound learning and knowledge, 
Peter by name, was preferred to the abbey of Malmesbury 
by Henry, bishop of Winchester, and legate of the holy 
Roman church. Having assumed the monastic habit at 
Cluni, he filled for some time the office of prior of La Charite, 
and was removed from thence to preside over the monastery 
of St. Urban, pope, in the diocese of Catalonia, but troubles 
increasing and threatening his own safety, he was compelled 
to quit the place, and at the instance of the before-mentioned 
bishop of Winchester, came to England, and this year under- 
took the government of the aforesaid church. 

[Stephen made prisoner at the battle of Lincoln.] 

Stephen, king of England, after long toils and sieges of 
castles, in whicli he had struggled during five years and six 
weeks for the peace of the kingdom, at last, on the day of 
the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February], which fell on 
Sexagesima Sunday, was, by the just judgment of God, out- 
mano'uvred and taken prisoner at the siege of Lincoln castle by 
Robert, earl of Gloucester, his uncle's son, and Ranulph, 


earl of Chester ;^ and, being first brought to Gloucester on 
Quinquagesima Sunday [9th February^, was then conducted 
to the city of Bristol and placed in custody. Many of his 
adherents were taken with him and thrown into prison. 

[The Empress Matilda acknowledged queen.] 

Meanwhile, the lady empress-queen, Henry's daughter, 
who was staying at Gloucester, was overjoyed at this event, 
having now, as it appeared to her, got possession of the 
kingdom for which fealty had been sworn to her f she there- 
fore, having consulted her council, left the city on the fifth 
day after Ash-Wednesday [17th February], and attended by 
two bishops, Bernard, bishop of St. David's, and Nigel, bishop 
of Ely, with Gilbert, abbot of Winchester, and many barons, 
knights, and officers, proceeded to Cirencester, the first 
place at which she lodged after such joyful intelligence, and 
of which she received the allegiance. Departing thence, 
when she drew near to the city of Winchester, there ad- 
vanced to meet her, in great state and pomp, the bishops of 
almost all England, many barons, a great number of men 
of high rank, innumerable knights, divers abbots with their 
societies, and two convents of monks and a third of nuns, 
chanting in procession hymns and thanksgivings, and the 
clergy of the place with the citizens and crowds of the people. 
Thereupon, the famous city of Winchester was delivered over 
to her; she.received possession of the royal crown of England,'* 
and the legate himself cursed those who curse her, blessed 
those who bless her, excommunicating her adversaries, and 
absolving those who submitted to her government. 

The lady [Matilda] departing from Winchester with her 
court went to Wilton, where Theobald, archbishop of Canter- 

^ The best account of the battle of Lincoln is given by Henry of 
Huntingdon, who was a canon of that church, and most probably 
resident there at the time of the battle. See his History, pp. 273 — • 
280, Antiq. Lib. The account in " Gesta Stephani" is singularly de- 
ficient in details, ibid, p. 378. Roger of Wendover's is rather more 
circumstantial, ibid, vol. i., p. 492, 

^ See before, under the year 1126, p. 241. 

^ " The royal crown, which she had always ardently desired," says 
the author of " Gesta Stephani," p. 381. The bishop-legate, Henry de 
Blois, caused her to be proclaimed queen in the market place of 
Winchester J but it does not appear that Matilda was ever crowned 



bury, came to pay his respects. Here such crowds of people 
flocked to meet her, that the gates of the town hardly allowed 
their entrance. After celebrating there the feast of Easter, 
she came in the Rogation days [4th May] to Reading, where 
she was received with honours ; the chief men and the people 
])ouring in from all quarters to tender their allegiance. 
While there, she sounded one of the leaders, Robert D' Oyley, 
respecting the surrender of Oxford castle, and upon his con- 
senting to it, she proceeded there and received the fealty 
and homage of the whole city and the country round. Con- 
tinuing her progress, she was received at the monastery of 
St. Albans, with processions, and honours, and rejoicings. 
Many of the citizens of London came to her there, and had 
various conferences with her touching the surrender of the 

[A violent thunder- storm.] 

About this time a terrible occurrence took place in the 
diocese of Worcester, w^hich we think is worthy relating. On 
Wednesday before the octave of our Lord's Ascension [11th 
May], about the ninth hour of the day, at a village called 
Walesburn, distant one mile from Hampton, the country seat 
of the bishop of Worcester,^ there aroie a violent whirlwind, 
accompanied by a frightful darkness reaching from earth to 
heaven, which striking the house of a priest named Leofrid 
levelled it to the ground and shattered it to pieces, with all 
the out-buildings ; it also tore off the roof of the church, and 
carried it across the river Avon. Nearly fifty houses of the 
villagers were thrown down and ruined in the same way. 
Hailstones also fell as large as a pigeon's egg, which striking 
a woman caused her death. At this spectacle all present were 
filled with terror and dismay. 

[3Iatilda goes to London.] 

The empress, as we have already said, having treated with 
the Londoners, lost no time in entering the city with a great 
att(,'n<Iance of bishops and nobles: and being received at 
Westminster with a magnificent procession, took up her abode 
th(H-e for some days to set in order tlie affairs of the kingdom, 
ller first care was to take measures for the good of God's holy 

' Hampton-Lucy, near Stratford-upon-Avon. 


church, according to the advice of good men. She therefore 
gave the bishopric of London to a monk of Reading, a vene- 
rable man, Robert by name [who accepted it], in the presence 
and by the command of his reverend abbot, Edward. God's 
business being thus done, the queen of England interceded 
with the lady [Matilda] for her lord the king, who was a 
captive in close custody and fetters. She was also entreated 
on his behalf by the highest and greatest nobles of England, 
who offered to deliver to her any number of hostages, with 
castles and large sums of money if the king were set free, and 
his liberty, though not his kingdom, was restored to him ; 
promising to persuade him to abdicate the crown, and thence- 
forth devote himself to the service of God only, as a monk or 
pilgrim ; but she would not listen to them. The bishop of 
Winchester, too, petitioned her that the earldom which belonged 
to his brother, should be given to his nephew, the king's son, 
but the lady [Matilda] refused also to listen to him. The 
citizens also prayed her that they might be permitted to live 
under the laws of king Edward, which were excellent, instead 
of under those of her father, king Henry, which were grievous. 
But, refusing to accept good advice, she very harshly rejected 
their petition, and in consequence there was a great tumult 
in the city ; and a conspiracy being formed against her, the 
citizens, who had deceived her with honour, now attempted 
to seize her person with indignity. Being, however, fore- 
warned by some of them, she fled shamefully with her 
retinue, leaving all her own and their apparel behind.^ 

The bishop of Winchester, who was also legate of the holy 
Roman church, perceiving this, turned his mind to his brother's 
liberation, and to accomplish it, gained over the good-will 
and influence of the Londoners to his purpose. Meanwhile, 
the fugitive lady reached Gloucester, by way of Oxford, where, 
having consulted with Milo, the ex-constable, she immediately 
returned with him to Oxford, intending to tarry there while 
she re-assembled her scattered troops. And as she had chiefly 
used the counsel, and been supported by the assistance of Milo, 
insomuch that up to that time she had neither received pro- 
visions for a single day, nor had her table served, except by 
his munificence and forethought, as we have heard from 

* See "Gesta Stephani," pp. 383—385, Antiq. Lib. 


jVIilo's own mouth,^ she conferred upon him while she was 
there the earkloni of Hereford, to bind him more closely to her 
service, and as a distinguished reward for it. 

[The siege and " rout " of Winchester.^ 

Her forces having increased in power and numbers, on the 
approach of the feast of St. Peter ad Vincula [1st August], she 
went to Winchester, unknow^n to her brother, the earl of Bristol, 
but finding the place already indisposed towards her, she took 
up her quarters in the castle. Astonished at her unexpected 
arrival, and exceedingly disturbed in consequence, Henry, 
bishop of that city, left it by another gate, and withdrew him- 
self then and for ever from her presence. They being now at 
variance, this wealthy city, so glorious for ages, and whose 
fame was renowned through all lands, was suddenly placed in 
a state of siege, kinsfolk engaging in mutual hostilities, and the 
inhabitants and their goods being destroyed by common and 
mercenary soldiers, who, breathing fury, spread themselves 
through it for tliis purpose. Nor did this alone suffice to 
satisfy the bishop's wrath, for goaded by rage, and to strike 
terror and dismay into the hearts of the people, he determined 
to set fire to the city and burn it to the ground ; and this he 
did. Thus on the second of the month of August, having 
fired the city, he reduced to ashes the monastery of nuns with 
its buildings, more than forty churches, with the largest and 
best part of the place, and, lastly, the monastery of monks 
devoted to God and St. Grimbald, with its buildings. 

Tiiere was in tliis church of St. Grimbald a great and holy 
cross, made long since by order of king Canute, and by him 
exquisitely enriched with gold and silver, jewels and precious 
stones. Wonderful to relate, this cross, on the approach of the 
flames, as if conscious of the impending danger, began to 
sweat and grow black before the eyes of the monks who were 
present, yea, it waxed as black as the incendiaries themselves; 
and tlie very instant it caught fire, tliree awful claps of loud 
thunder sounded as it were from heaven. The city being 

' It appears from this and other incidental notices, that the monk 
of Worcester, to whom we are indebted for the continuation of the 
Chronicle of Florence, wiis not only cotemporary with the events he 
describes, but had access to persons of rank who took a leading part 
in them. 


thus burnt -within and beleagured by the enemy without, the 
bishop is reported to have said to the earl of Northampton, 
" Behold, lord earl, you have my command, let it be your 
business to raze it to the ground ;" words which disclose the 
inmost feelings of the speaker's heart. Seven weeks having 
been spent in the siege, the bishop, weary at last of its long- 
duration, on the eve of the day preceding the feast of the 
Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th September], ordered peace 
to be proclaimed throughout the city, and the gates to be 
thrown open. 

The empress had already mounted her horse, accompanied 
and guided by her brother, Reginald ; leaving more than two 
hundred cavalry under the command of the earl of Bristol 
[Gloucester], as a rear-guard, when the bishop suddenly 
ordered his troops to fly to arms, and making a desperate 
attack on the enemy, take as many prisoners as they could. 
Many were thus cajDtured, and very many scattered and slain, 
among whom was a knight named William de Curcell, with 
six troopers ; and he was buried at St. Grrimbald's. The lady 
[Matilda], learning this, was in great terror and dismay, and 
reached the castle of Luggershall, for which she was making, 
sad and sorrowful ; but she found it no safe resting-place for 
fear of the bishop. In consequence, by the advice of her 
friends, she once more mounted her horse, male fashion, and 
was conducted to Devizes ; but apprehending that she should 
not be safe from her pursuers even there, she was placed, 
already nearly half-dead, upon a hearse, and being bound with 
cords like a corpse, and borne upon horses, was carried, igno- 
miniously enough, to the city of Gloucester.^ 

Meanwhile, her brother, Robert, the earl of Bristol [Glou- 
cester], having left Winchester by another road, was hard 
pressed by those who went in pursuit, and being captured at 
Stolbridge by the Flemings, under earl Warrene, and brought 
to the queen, who was residing there, was by her command 
given in custody to William d' Ypres, and confined at 
Rochester. Milo, earl of Hereford, being hemmed in by the 

^ A very circumstantial account of the siege of Winchester, and 
the "rout" of Matilda's forces is given in the " Gesta Stephani," pp. 
386 — 390. Our author here adds some curious details connected with 
her escape, which we may conclude, from his position, he derived 
from local information. 

A.D. 1140.] ST. CROSS BURNT. 285 

enemy, threw oiF his armour and all his accoutrements, and, 
glad to escape with his life, fled in disgrace, reaching Glou- 
cester, weary, alone, and half naked. John, also, their abettor, 
was pursued by the bishop's soldiers to the monastery of 
Wherwell, where he had taken refuge ; and being unable to 
drive him out, they set fire to the church of St. Cross, on the 
very day of the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross [14th 
September], burnt it to the ground, with the nuns' houses 
and effects, and carried off, without scruple, their vestments, 
books, and ornaments, after much horrible effusion of human 
blood before the holy altar ; but yet they could neither take 
nor drive out John before mentioned. Elfrida, the wife of 
Edgar, the glorious king of England, [during his reign]^ 
erected this monastery in honour of St. Cross, being struck 
with remorse for the murder of her step-son. 

After these events, bishop Henry's wrath being somewhat 
appeased, wiiile his covetousness knew no bounds, at the sug- 
gestion of the prior of the new minster which had been just 
burnt down, he recovered from the ashes of the cross five 
hundred pounds of silver, thirty marks of gold, and three 
crowns, with as many steps of the purest Arabian gold studded 
all round with precious stones of most exquisite and admirable 
workmanship, and laid them up in his own treasury. 

[Stephen exchanged for the Earl of Gloucester.] 

Meanwhile, the king and the earl were kept in custody, 
but the queen employing herself actively on the king's behalf, 
and the countess using great exertions for the earl, after many 
messengers and confidential friends had passed to and fro 
between them, the following terms were the result of the 
deliberations on both sides; namely, that the king being 
restored to his royal dignity, and the earl being invested with 
the dominion of the whole of England under him, both should 
become just administrators and restorers of the peace in the 

> The words between the brackets convey a gross anachronism. 
King Edf^ar died in 975, and [St.] Edward, who succeeded him, was 
murdered in 978. A note in the margin of one of the MSS. states the 
fact that "Aelfdryth" erected the monastery of St. Cross with the 
motive here stated, but omits the words in the text, which assigns a 
date to the foundation incompatible with the facts. 


government and country, as they had hitherto been the authors 
and promoters of all its dissensions and disturbances. But 
the earl refusing to carry this into effect, without the consent 
of the empress, his sister, repudiated all that had been con- 
certed in the affair, and utterly rejected all terms of peace 
and alliance with the king. Whence it came to pass that 
they parted without any pacification, and during the whole of 
the ensuing year, in all parts of the kingdom and country, 
pillage of the poor, slaughter of men, and violation of churches 
cruelly ^ 

^ The old printed text ends here abruptly In one of the MSS. the 
interval between the year 1141, where the first Continuation of 
Florence's Chronicle terminates, and the year 1152, where the second 
Continuation begins, is supplied by a transcript from Henry Hun- 
tingdon's history of that period, for which see pp. 273 — 291, Antiq. Lib. 





[a.d. 1152.] The emperor Conrad succeeded the emperor 

A divorce was decreed between Lewis, king of France, 
and queen Eleanor, the daughter of William, duke of Aqui- 
taine, by whom the king then had two daughters. Henry, 
duke of Normandy, married this Eleanor, and received witli 
her the county of Aquitaine. St. Bernard, abbot of Clair- 
vaux, died on the thirteenth of the calends of September 
[20th August]. 

[a.d. 1153.] 

[a.d. ]154.] Benedict, prior of Canterbury, was trans- 
ferred as abbot to Peterborough. Adrian was made pope. 

[a.d. 1155.] Queen Eleanor bore a son, whom she called 
Henry. Frederic was crowned as emperor. 

[a.d. 115G.] Queen Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, 
named Matilda. 

[a.d. 1157.] Queen Eleanor gave birth at Oxford to her 
son Richard. 

[a.d. 1158.] Queen Eleanor gave birth to Geoffrey. 

[a.d. 1159.] Adrian died, and thereupon a schism arose 
from the election of two popes. The kings of France and 
England acknowledged pope Alexander, while the emperor 
adhered to Octavian, on whose behalf he wrote to the two 
kings before mentioned, but did not obtain his object. 

[a.d. 11 ()().] The marriage between Henry, son of the 
king of England, and the daughter of the king of France, was 
celebrated. Theobald, archbishop of Canterbury, died. 

288 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1161-70. 

[a.d. 1161.] Queen Eleanor bore a daughter, to whom 
she gave the name of Eleanor.^ 

[a.d. 1162.] The council of Tours was held,^ at which 
Thomas, the archbishop, was much honom-ed by the jDope. 

[a.d. 1163.] 

[a.d. 1164.] The bishops of England are called together 
at Clarendon, to take account of the customs of the realm.^ 
Loose clerks are denoimced. Archbishop Thomas withdraws 
privately ; the king duly summoned him to answer in his 

[a.d. 1165.] Eleanor bore a son, who was called John 

[a.d. 1166— 69.J 

[a.d. 1170.] In this year the king held his court, during 
the feast of Easter, at Windsor ; at which festival there were 
present William, king of Scotland, and Da\-id his brother, and 
nearly all the nobles and great men of England, both bishops, 
earls, and barons. 

[A council of nobles at London.] 

After celebrating^ the feast of Easter, the kinsr went from 
thence to London, and there held a great council for the 
coronation of his eldest son Henry, and making laws for his 
kingdom ; and there he dismissed nearly all the sheriffs of 
England and their baiUffs, for having ill-treated the liege- 
men of his realm. And each of the sheriffs and bailiffs found 
pledges for himself to abide by the judgment of the court, 
and give such redress to our lord the king, and the liege-men 
of the realm, as they ought to do out of their reprises. After- 
wards the king caused all the liege-men of his realm, to wit, 
the earls, barons, knights, free tenants, and even \'illeins, to 
swear, on the holy gospels, in their several counties, that they 
would tell the truth, namely, what and how much the sheriffs 

^ Accordino: to Roger of Wendover and Matt. Westm., the princess 
Eleanor was born in 1162. 

^ The council of Tours was not held till 1163. 

^ The famous " Constitutions of Clarendon" were framed on this 
occasion. They may be seen in Wilkins's Cone, and Roger of 

* John Lack-Land, afterwards king John; he was born in 1166. 


and their bailiffs levied on them, and what judicially, and what 
extrajudicially, and for what default. But great injury was 
thu3 done to the English nation, for, after the inquisition 
was made, the king reinstated some of the sheriffs in their 
offices, and they became afterwards more oppressive than they 
were before. Moreover, in the aforesaid council, the king 
caused Roger, archbishop of York, Hugh, bishop of Durham, 
and the other bishops of his kingdom, to be summoned to 
meet at London at a time appointed. 

[_Coro7iatlon of Henri/ II.'s eldest son Henry ^ 

On the following Sunday, which was the eighteenth of the 
calends of July [1 4th June], and the vigil of SS. Vitus and 
Modestus, martyrs, and St. Crescentia, virgin, king Henry 
caused his eldest son Henry to be crowned and consecrated 
king at Westminster, by Roger, archbishop of York and 
legate of the episcopal see, being assisted in the ceremony by 
Hugh, bishop of Durham, Gilbert, bishop of London, Josce- 
line, bishop of Salisbury, and Walter, bishop of Rochester; 
and almost all the earls, bishops, and nobles of the realm 
being present. On the morrow after the consecration, the 
king made William, king of Scotland, and David, his brother, 
and all the earls, barons, and frank-tenants of his kingdom, 
do homage to the new king, his son ; and swear, on the relics 
of the saints, allegiance and fealty to him against all the 
world, save only their fealty to himself. And there the king 
obtained the consent of the earls and barons for crossing the 
sea to Normandy, because Lewis, king of France, bruited 
abroad that his daughter Margaret was not crowned with her 
husband, the new king of England, and therefore proposed to 
stir up war in Normandy. 

[King Henry falls sick in Normandy.] 

Accordingly, the king passed over to Normandy, setting 
sail from Portsmouth about the feast of St. John the Baptist 
[24th June], and sent his son, the new king, to England, 
empowering him to administer affairs and justice under a new 
seal, which he ordered him to make. About the octave of 



the feast of SS. Peter and Paul [6th July], the king came to 
Ferte-Bernard,^ and consulted Count Theobald about making 
peace between himself and the king of France, and then they 
departed. And the king, about the feast of St. Mary Mag- 
dalen [22nd July], went as far as Yendome^ to treat with the 
king of France, and in that conference they came to such a 
mutual understanding, that for the time they remained in 

The conference being ended, the king returned to Nor- 
mandy, and reaching La Motte Gernee, not far from Dom-* 
front,^ about the feast of St. Lawrence [10th August], there 
fell so dangerously ill, that it was reported throughout France 
that he was dead; and there he divided his kingdom and 
dominions amongst his sons. He gave to Henry, his eldest 
son, the kingdom of England and the duchy of Normandy, 
with the counties of Anjou and Maine ; and committed to him 
the maintenance and promotion of his youngest brother John. 
To his son Richard, he gave the duchy of Aquitaine, with all 
its appurtenances, to be held of the king of France. 

Afterwards, he commanded the bishops, earls, and barons, 
who were about him during his sickness, that if he did not 
recover, they should convey his body to Grammont, near St. 
Leonard's,^ and showed them a charter which the good men 
of Grammont had granted him for the interment of his 
remains at the entrance of the chapter-house of Grammont, 
at the feet of the superior of that house, who lay buried there. 
On hearing this they were much surprised, and were unwilling 
to allow it, saying that it was derogatory to his royal dignity. 
The king, however, persisted in enjoining compliance with his 
wishes ; but, by the will of Divine Providence, he shortly 
afterwards recovered from his sickness, and, as soon as he 
was able, in fulfilment of a vow made during his illness, he 
proceeded with all haste, about the feast of St. Michael [29th 

' La Ferte-Bernard, on the Huisne, in the department of La Sarthe. 

^ Veiidome, on one of the branches of the Loire. Some ruins of its 
ancient castle still remain. 

^ Domfront was a strong frontier fortress of Normandy, of great 
importance in the preceding times. 

* St. Leonard's stands on the right bank of the Vienne, about ten 
miles from Limoges. 

A.D. 1170.] becket's grievances. 291 

September], to St. Mary's of Ilocamadour,* and having per- 
formed his pilgrimage returned into Anjou. 

\_Disputes between Inng Henry and Thomas a BechetJ] 

Meanwhile, St. Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, who 
was now in the sixth year of his exile, hearing that in his 
absence, and in despite of his privileges, a new king had 
been consecrated in England, at London, by Roger, arch- 
bishop of York, was greatly chagrined ; and turning in his 
mind how he nnght best vindicate the rights of the church of 
Canterbury, sent i'requent messengers to pope Alexander, 
entreating him to censure the archbishop of York and his 
coadjutors who had assisted him in the consecration of the 
new king of England. Likewise, the same year, Lewis, king 
of France, solicited the lloman pontiff on behalf of the afore- 
said archbishop of Canterbury, entreating him, as he valued 
his personal regard, and the respect he paid him, and from his 
love of the kingdom of France, and for the honour of the 
apostolic see, no longer to allow the procrastinating pleas 
lodged by the king of England. Comj)assionating, also, the de- 
solate condition of the church of Enghind, William, archbishop 
of Sens, petitioned the apostolic see, and besought the church 
of Rome that, all appeals being quashed, the king of England 
should be sentenced to excounnunication, and the kingdom 
laid under an interdict, unless peace were restored to the 
church of Canterbury. The day peremptorily fixed, beyond 
which the sentence could no longer be deferred, was now 
at hand. 

The king of England, therefore, constrained by his fears of 
the rigour of the canons, at length consented to restore peace 
to the English church, and about the feast of St. Denys, on 
Monday the fourth of the ides [the 12th] of October, he 
came as far as Amboi,se, in the neighbourhood of Tours, 
attended by the archbishops, bishops, and great men of his 
realm, to meet William, archbishoj) of vSens, and Theobald, 
count de Llois, who brought with them St. Thomas, archbishop 

' De rupe Aflamntoris. The place is situated near Cahors, on the 
high road from Paris to Bayonne. Its famous Oratories, dedicated, 
tlie one to St. Mary, and the other to St. Amadour, on the summit of 
the rock overiianging the valley of the little river Alzou, which falls 
into the Dordogiie, are still the resort of the religious. 

u 2 


of Canterbury. On the morrow, king Henry, in conformity to 
tlie will of Divine Providence, and in compliance with the 
instances of the king of France, and the mandate and moni- 
tion of pope Alexander, as well as by the advice of the arch- 
bishops and bishops of his realm, re-admitted the before- 
mentioned archbishop of Canterbury to his favour and love, 
and he pardoned him and all who were in exile with him, 
and shared his wrath and persecution ; promising that all the 
possessions of the church of Canterbury should be restored 
to him entire, as he held them the year before he departed 
from England. 

There were great rejoicings among the people throughout 
the kingdom on the arrival and re-establishment of their 
father, Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury ; for he, apprehen- 
sive of the peril of souls, and conducted to his see by the 
king's orders, returned to England on the calends [the Ist] 
of December, in the seventh year of his exile. Arriving at 
Canterbury, he was received by the clergy and people as an 
angel of the Lord, the multitude shouting with one voice, 
*' Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." On 
his part, he, like a good shepherd, received them all with the 
kiss of peace, and addressing to them a paternal admonition, 
enjoined on them the love of their brethren ; while, if needs 
be, they should lay down their lives, and .contend unto death 
for the law of God. The lord pope having, on the complaint 
of St. Thomas, learnt the presumption of the before-mentioned 
archbishop of York, and the bishops, his coadjutors, he sus- 
pended Hoger, archbishop of York, Hugh, bishop of Durham, 
and Walter, bishop of Rochester, from their episcopal func- 
tions, and issued a sentence of excommunication against 
Gilbert, bishop of London, and Josceline, bishop of Salisbury. 
This harsh proceeding, which was published on the restoration 
of St. Thomas, further embittered the king's mind, and gave 
a fresh poignancy to the envenomed tongues of the arch- 
bishop's detractors. For Roger, archbishop of York, Josceline, 
bishop of Salisbury, and Gilbert, bishop of London, as soon 
as the sentence was published against them, sailed for Nor- 
mandy, and sharpening their tongues, like a sword, prejudiced 
the king by their complaints against the archbishop of Can- 
terbury, and more and more roused his indignation against 
him. The champion of Christ was, therefore, again subjected 

A.D. 1170.] becket's martyrdom. 293 

to losses, and made acfain the mark for more atrocious and 
excessive injustice; and he was even prohiliited, by a public 
edict, from going beyond the bounds of his church. Whoever 
gave him, or any of his friends, a civil word, was thought a 
public enemy. But the man of God bore all these injuries 
with exemplary ])atience, and living on familiar terms with 
those about them, edified all by his conversation. 

\_Martyrdom of St. Thomas a BecTcet.~\ 

This year the son of the empress ^latilda^ held his court at 
Bures, in Normandy, on the day of our Lord's Nativity, which 
fell on Friday, in much sorrow and trouble at the refusal of 
the archbishop of Canterbury to absolve the English bishops 
from the sentence of excommunication which he had pro- 
nounced on them. The king's indignation being thus raised, 
four knights of his household and family, desirous of relieving 
him from the disturbance of mind which they observed to be 
preying I'pon him, secretly and without the king's knowledge 
hurried to the coast, for the purpose of crossing the sea to 
England, and, having landed there, lost no time in taking the 
road to Canterbury. The holy fiither had scarcely resided a 
month at his church, when, five days after Christmas, the four 
knights, or rather the hirelings of Satan, before mentioned, 
whose names are William de Tracy, Hugh de Morville, 
Richard Briton, and Reginald Fitz-Urse, rushed furiously and 
ready armed into the church, at the entrance of which they 
cried loudly, "Where — where is the traitor?" No one 
making any answer, they again demanded, "Where is the 
archbishop of Canterbury?" Upon which he replied, " Here 
am I, the servant of Christ, whom ye seek." One of the ill- 
omened knights then said to him in a rage, " You shall die, 
for it must not be that you live any longer." The archbishop 
answered, with as much firmness of expression as of spirit, 
" I am ready to give up my life in the cause of God, and 
as the champion of justice and of the liberties of the church. 
But if ye seek my life, 1 forbid you, in God's name, and under 
the penalty of being held accursed, from doing any sort of 
injury to any other, be he monk, or clerk, or layman, of high 
or low degree; let them be free I'rom harm, as they are from any 

' Henry Fitz-Empress. 


pretence for it." Do not his words seem to express those of 
Christ, when he said, during his passion, " If ye seek me, let 
these go their way " ?^ Having said this, and seeing the exe- 
cutioners draw their swords, he bowed his head in the act of 
prayer, and poured forth these his last words : " I commend 
myself and the cause of the church to God and St. Mary, and 
the saints who are the patrons of this church, and to St. 

After that, in the midst of all his anguish, the undaunted 
martyr, with wonderful firmness, uttered not a word nor a 
cry, nor suffered a groan to escape him ; nor did he raise his 
arm or cover himself with his robe to protect himself from his 
assailants, but retained immovably the attitude he had assumed, 
bowing his head to the stroke of their swords, until their 
work was done. Thereupon the knights before mentioned, 
being in fear from the concourse of multitudes of both sexes, 
who flocked together on all sides, that a rescue would be 
made, and their attempt foiled, hastened the accomplishment 
of their villanous deed ; and one of them, brandishing his 
sword and aiming a blow at the archbishop's head, nearly 
struck oif the arm of a certain clerk, named Edward Grim,^ at 
the same time wounding in the head tlie Lord's anointed ; for 
this clerli: had thrust out his arm over the father's head to 
intercept the assailant, or rather to ward off the blow. Still 
the righteous sufferer for justice stood like an innocent lamb, 
without a murmur, without a complaint, and offered himself a 
sacrifice to the Lord. And now, that not one of the accursed 
gang might be able to say that the bishop was free from 
injury by his hands, a second and third knight dealt heavy 
blows on the head of the intrepid champion of the faith, which 
they fractured, and levelled the victim of the Holy Spirit to 
the ground ; and a fourth,^ raving with an excess of bar- 
barity, cut off his shaven crown, while he was prostrate and at 
the last gasp, and, shattering his skull, inserted the point of 
his sword, and scattered his blood and brains on the stone 

Thus, in the beginning of the seventh year after his banish- 
ment, this martyr, Thomas, contended even to death for the 

* John xviii. 8. 

^ He was the bishop's eross-bearer. 

^ His name was Hugh de Horsey. 


law of his God and tlie riglits of the cliurch, which in Eng- 
land were well nigh lost, fearing not the words of wicked 
men ; but founded upon a rock of strength, that is Christ, fell 
in Christ's church and for Christ's cause, himself innocent, by 
the swords of the impious, on the fifth day of Christmas, 
which is the morrow of the feast of Innocents [20th Decem- 
ber]. Tlien all left him ami fled, that the saying of Scrip- 
ture might be fulfilled : " I will smite the shepherd, and the 
sheep shall be scattered."^ Meanwhile, the knights who had 
perpetrated this accursed deed made their retreat by way of 
the martyr's stable, and bringing out his horses parted them 
among themselves, each taking which he pleased ; and then 
without loss of time, sensible of the atrocity of their crime, 
and despairing of pardon, did not dare to return to the king's 
court, whence they had come, but retired into the western 
part of England as far as Knaresborough, the vill of Hugh de 
Alorville, where they abode until they were treated as in- 
famous by tlie inhabitants of that district ; for all avoided 
having any intercourse with them, nor would any one sit at 
table in their company. They, therefore, ate and drank 
alone, and the fragments of their repast were thrown to the 
dogs, which having tasted, even thej' refused to devour. See 
here manifestly the just vengeance of God, that they who 
despised the anointed of the Lord should be even spurned by 
doGTs ! 

INIean while the king, who was holding his court at Bures 
as we have before mentioned, had gone to Argentan, where 
hearing that the archbishop of Canterbury had been cruelly 
murdered in the church of Canterbury, his grief was intense 
and inexpressible ; and existence became wretched to an un- 
heard of degree. For three days he partook of no food, and 
refused to speak to any one ; and led a life of solitude with 
closed doors for five weeks, until Rotro, aichbishop of Ilouon, 
and the bishoj)s of Normandy, came and comforted him. How- 
ever, when they had so done, Lewis, king of France, and 
William, archbishop of Sens, wi'ote to pope Alexander against 
the king of England, respecting the death of the archbishop 
of Canterbury, to this effect : 

* Zcchariah xiii. 7 ; Mark xiv. 27. 


[The Letter of the king of France.] 

" To his most holy lord and father, Alexander [III.], by the 
grace of God, pope, Lewis, king of France, sends greeting and . 
due reverence. 

" The son who dishonours his mother is a stranger to the 
laws of human feeling ; nor is he mindful of the Creator's 
benefits, who does not sorrow for insults offered to the holy 
see. But it is to be especially lamented, and the novelty of 
the enormity draws forth a fresh burst of unspeakable grief, 
when the Lord's saint was the mark for a malignant attack, 
the pupil of Christ's eye was pierced with the sword, and the 
light of the church of Canterbury was no less cruelly than 
basely extinguished. Let justice be roused in its keenest 
form, and the sword of Peter be unsheathed to avenge the 
martyr of Canterbury ! For his blood cries for vengeance 
through the church universal, which not so much claims it 
for him as for the injury inflicted on her. Lo ! the Divine 
glory has been revealed in miracles, as we are informed, at 
the martyr's tomb, and it is manifested from heaven on the spot 
where his mortal remains rest, for whose name he fought to 
the end. The bearers of these presents, men bereaved of 
their father, will detail the particulars to your Holiness ; and 
we pray you to lend a willing ear to their testimony of the 
truth, and in this affair, as well as in others, give them the 
same credence as you would to ourselves. Your Holiness, 

[_How the king sent to the pope of Rome, after the death of 

St. Thomas.^ 

While affairs were in this state, the lord [archbishop] of 
Rouen, the lord [bishop] of Evreux, and the lord [bishop] of 
Worcester, together with several of the clerks and others 
attached to the king's court, set forth on a journey to the 
Roman pontiff, on behalf of the king and his realm. But the 
lord of Rouen, being worn wdth age and infirmity, when he 
had accomplished nearly half the journey, could proceed no 
further, and returned to his own see. But the before-men- 
tioned bishops, with the king's clerks, proceeded on their way, 
and succeeded with great difficulty in obtaining the pope's con- 

A.D. 1170.] MISSION TO THE POPE. 297 

sent that two cardinals, Tlieodine and Albert, should, on his 
part, come into Normandy, to take cognizance of the case 
at issue between the kino: and the church of Canterbury 
touching the death of St. Thomas, and respecting other 
ecclesiastical dignitaries, and decide concerning them as God 
should direct. The envoys who had proceeded to Rome 
wrote to their lord and king in the following tenor : 

\_The Letter to the Idng hy his clerks whom he sent to Rome.^ 

'* To their most dearly beloved lord, Henry, the illustrious 
king of England, duke of Normandy and Aquitaine, and 

count of Anjou, R., abbot of W ^, R., archdeacon of 

Salisbury, Robert, archdeacon of Lisieux, Richard Barre, and 
Master Henry, greeting, and loyal service in all things and 
all j)laces. 

" We would have your majesty know, that Richard Barre 
having gone forward before us, and, after much danger and 
suffering, arrived tirst at the court of our lord the pope, we 
four, and the two bishops, the dean of York, and Master 
Henry, with much difficulty got as far as Sienna. There 
we were detained for some days, as count Macarius had so 
beset all the roads that no way was open to us for getting out 
of the place. When, however, we four, who with the bishops 
were very desirous to depart, could not accomplish it, being 
in much trouble of mind, by common consent we made our 
escape privately at midnight, and so by mountain paths, 
and almost impassable tracks, we at length after much peril 
and apprehension reached Tusculum.^ There we found 
Richard Barre very anxious, as was his duty, to maintain 
your honour, and exerting himself with much prudence and 
industry for your profit. But he was in great distress and 
dismay, as he had neither been admitted to an interview with 
the lord pope, nor had others shown any kindness or civility 
to him. On our arrival, the pope refused to see us, and allow 
us the kiss, even of his foot ; and scarcely any of the car- 
dinals condescended so much as to exchange a word with us. 
After long delay, during which we were much harassed by 
anxiety and bitterness of spirit, we entreated those who were 
faithfully attached to you to use their influence that in some 

' *' Abbaa Wallatia; ?" ' Now called Frascati. 


■way the pope might grant us a hearing. In the end, at their 

instance, the lord abbot of W , and R., arcli deacon of 

Lisieux, were admitted to an audience, as being those of us 
"who were least suspected. But when, in making their salu- 
tations on your belialf, they mentioned your name as a most 
devoted son of the Roman church, the whole conclave cried 
out, * Hold, hold [' as if it were odious to the lord pope even 
to hear your name. So leaving the conclave they returned 
late to our lord the pope, and laid before him, after con- 
sulting together, what your majesty commanded us ; at the 
same time recounting all the benefits you had conferred on 
the late archbishop of Canterbury, and the succession of 
usurpations and affronts to your dignity of which he had been 
guilty. All this we detailed, first in private, and afterwards 
in the presence of our lord the pope and all the cardinals ; the 
clerks of Canterbury, Alexander, and Gunter, the Fleming, 
shewing cause before them on the other side. 

" The Thursday before Easter [23rd March] being now 
near at hand, and that being the day on which, according to 
the usage of the Roman Church, the lord pope is wont to 
absolve or excommunicate in public ; as we had certain in- 
formation that up to this point their consultations tended to 
the trouble of you and your kingdom, we consulted those we 
knew to be most favourable to your majesty, namely, the lord 
[bishop] of Porto, the lord Hyacinthus, the lord [bishop] of 
Pavia, the lord Peter di Mirio (the lord John of Naples was 
absent), and urged them most anxiously and earnestly to let 
us know the pope's intentions, and what he proposed to deter- 
mine in our case. But as they reported to us nothing but 
what was disastrous and disgraceful to your highness, we 
presumed, from the sad accounts given by these persons and 
by your faithful servant, brother Francis, that the pope had 
firmly resolved, with the general consent of the conclave, to 
issue that very day a sentence of interdict against you, per- 
sonally, and against all your dominions on this side or beyond 
the sea. Being placed in these most difficult circumstances, 
we used our utmost efforts, through the cardinals and those of 
our associates who had access to them, and by means of their 
intimate friends, to induce the pope to abandon this measure, 
or, at least, to defer it until the arrival of your bishops. 

" Finding it impossible to effect this, we, as our duty is, 

A.D. 1172.] THE envoys' letter. 299 

and as we are your debtors, being neither able nor willing to 
bear tlie indignity to your person, nor the oppression to your 
whole dominions, at last had a meeting of our friends in the 
presence of some of the cardinals, at which means were dis- 
covered by which your honour and welfare would be secured, 
with ad\antage to your territories and profit to the bisiiops. 
By this proceeding we get rid of the danger and disgrace 
with which you, your dominions, and bisljops were threat- 
ened, although ibr this immunity we expose ourselves to 
extreme peril ; believing, however, and having a sure hope 
that the whole affair will take the course which we think you 
would desire. The lord bishop of Worcester and the lord 
bishop of Lisieux, with Robert, dean of Lisieux, and Master 
Henry will soon be here. We left them beyond measure 
anxious and troubled, because they were not able to come 
with us, as they wished to attend to your business. It was 
their opinion and our own, that we ought to hasten forward 
somewhat in advance of them, in order to throw impediments 
in the way of the proceedings of your adversaries to your dis- 
honour and injury. For we had certain information that the 
charge against you was lodged in court, and we were appre- 
hensive of what is customary on that day. Farewell ! and 
may your highness long live. Be comforted in the Lord, 
and lot your heart rejoice ; for after this cloud there will 
be fair weather, to your glory. We came to the court on 
the Saturday before Palm-Sunday [21st March], and 
the bearer of these presents leaves us on Easter-day [28th 

[^ICinff Henry s Heconciliation with the Court of Rome.'] 

[a.d. 1172.] King Henry crossed over to Ireland, and 
made peace with the people there. He tlien returned and 
obtained absolution from the cardinals, Ilotro [archbisliop] 
of Ilouen crowned Margaret, the king's daughter, as tlie 
future queen of England. Meanwhile the king returned 
from Britain, and about the feast of St. Michael, the apostle, 
came into Normandy to the city of Avranches, where he 
found the before-named cardinals, and on Wednesday the fifth 
of tlie calends of October [27th September], being the feast 
of SS. Cosmo and Damianus, the martyrs, he made satisfac- 


tion to God and the pope toucliing the death of St. Thomas 
the martyr. For he cleared his innocence before the afore- 
said cardinals, and the archbishop of Eouen, and the bishops, 
clergy, and people of his dominions, in the church of St. 
Andrew the apostle, at Avranches. He also swore on the 
Holy Gospels, before the churchmen already named, that he 
neither commnnded nor wished that the archbishop of Can- 
terbury should be slain, and that when he heard of it he was 
thrown into the deepest distress. But whereas he could not 
take the malefactors who had murdered Thomas, archbishop 
of Canterbury, of blessed memory ; and whereas he feared 
that they wrought that impious deed in consequence of their 
observing his disturbed state of mind, he took, for satisfac- 
tion, an oath to the following effect : — 

First, he swore that he would create no schism with pope 
Alexander, or with his catholic successors, so long as they 
treated him as a catholic king. 

Next, he swore that he would neither hinder, nor suffer 
any hindrance, to appeals being freely made in his kingdom 
to the pope of Rome in ecclesiastical causes ; provided that 
if he saw reason to suspect the parties, they should give 
security that they would not seek the injury of himself or his 

Moreover, he swore that he would take the cross from Christ- 
mas then ensuing, for the term of three years, and would go 
to Jerusalem in person during the summer next following, 
unless he staid with leave of pope Alexander, or his catholic 
successors. But if, in the meantime, he should, from urgent 
necessity, go into Spain against the Saracens, the time spent 
in that expedition should be considered as added to that 
employed in the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. 

He swore, besides, that in the meantime he would pay to 
the Knights Templars such sums of money as, in the judg- 
ment of the brethren of the order, would be sufficient for 
the maintenance of two hundred knights for the defence of 
the territory of Jerusalem for the space of one year. 

Moreover, he pardoned all, both clerks and laymen, who 
were in exile on account of St. Thomas, for their wrath and 
disaffection, and granted them permission to return home in 
freedom and peace. 

He also swore that whatever possessions had been taken away 

A.D. 1173, 1174.] THE KING ABSOLVED. 301 

from the cluircli of Canterbury should be restored entirely, as 
the aforesaid archbishop held them the year before he departed 
from England. 

He also swore that he would altogether disallow any cus- 
toms derogatory to the rights of the church in his territories, 
which had been introduced during his reign. All this he 
swore that he would observe in good faith and without covin. 

He also caused king Henry, his eldest son, to swear that he 
would observe all these articles, those excepted which referred 
only to him personally. And that this compact might be 
placed upon record in the Roman Church, the king commanded 
his own seal and the seals of the cardinals to be affixed to the 
instrument in which these articles are contained. 

[a.d. 1173.] This year, Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, 
deposed William, abbot of Peterborough, for certain causes. 

Tlie count of St. Giles^ did homage to the king-father. 
King Henry and his son quarrelled. A hundred and forty 
Flemings, making an irruption into England, Avere drowned. 
Geoffrey Ridel, archdeacon of Canterbury, was elected bishop 
of Ely ; his consecration by Richard, archbishop of Canter- 
bury, was deferred till the year following. William Turbe, 
bishop of Norwich, died on the seventeenth of the calends of 
February [IGth January], St. Thomas the Martyr was 
canonised in the beginning of Lent [21st February]. Mary, 
sister of St. Thomas, was made abbess of Barking. Robert, 
earl of Leicester, landing in England with three thousand 
Flemings, burnt the castle of Hagenest ; but he and his wife, 
and all the Normans and French who accompanied him, are 
taken prisoners. Part of the Flemings are slain, some part 
are drowned ; but none escaped. Done without the burgh 
of St. Edmund's on the sixteenth of the calends of November 
[17th October].-'^ 

[a.d. 1174.] The Flemings coming over in aid of the 
king's son, burn Norwich. Richard, prior of Dover, is con- 
secrated archbishop of Canterbury by the lord pope. All the 
world is afllicted with coughs and colds. 

• Also called the count of Thoulouse. 

' This is the first notice in the present continuation of the Chronicle 
of Fh)rence which shows the connection of the writer or writers with 
St. Edniondsbury. It ap{)ears also, from the following paragraph, and 
others subsecjuontly in which the present tense is used, that the Con- 
tinuation is a record of passing events. 


The king-father, on his arrival in England, found it in 
rebellion against liim ; but, while he was paying his vows at 
the shrine of St. Thomas, the king of Scotland was taken 
prisoner, and the king carried him with him to Normandy.^ 
The same day the king-son returned to France, the fleet 
w^hich he had assembled against his father having been dis- 

[a.d. 1175.] The castles were razed to the ground in all 
parts both of England and Normandy. William, king of the 
Scots, a captive according to the laws of war, gave hostages, 
and so returned from Normandy to Scotland.^ 

John of Oxford, dean of Salisbury, is consecrated bishop 
of Salisbury on the nineteenth of the calends of January 
[14th December]. 

[a.d. 1176.] The emperor Frederick sacks Milan. Roger, 
archbishop of York, was maltreated at Westminster, because 
he made pretensions to a seat in council at the right hand of the 
legate. John of Salisbury, an excellent clerk, is made bishop 
of Chartres. 

[a.d. 1177.] Johanna, daughter of the king of England, 
was married to William, king of Sicily. Secular canons were 
removed from Waltham, and regular ones introduced. The 
emperor Frederic, renouncing his schism at Venice, acknow- 
ledged pope Alexander. 

[a.d. 1178.] William, abbot of Ramsey, was made arch- 
abbot of Cluny. The king knighted his son Geoffrey. Richard 
de Lucy founded, the abbey of Lesnes.^ Saladin, being van- 
quished by Eudes, master of the Temple, betook himself to 

[a.d. 1179,] Roger, the [abbot]-elect of St. Augustine's, 
received the pontifical ornaments from the pope. A council of 

' He was committed to custody at Falaise. 

^ The charter afterwards executed by William, kins: of Scotland, 
acknowledging, as the terms of his release from captivity, Edward's 
rights of suzerainty over that kingdom, is inserted in the latter part of 
the present " Continuation," among other documents connected with 
king Edward's claims. 

^ Roger of Wendover informs us that " Richard de Lucy, justiciary 
of England, on the 11th June, 1178, laid the foundations of a conven- 
tual church [the abbey of Lesnes of our author] in honour of St. 
Thomas the martyr, at a place called Westwood, in the territory of 
Rochester." Vol.'ii., p. 36, Antiq. Lib. 

A. D. 1180-5.] VARIOUS OCCURRENCES. 303 

three hundred and ten bishops was held at Rome^ on the 
fourteenth of the calends of April [19th March]. Seven 
ears of corn grew on one stalk. Lewis, king of France, 
made a pilgrimage to the tomb of St. Thomas. Pope Alex- 
ander sent a letter to Prester John in India.^ 

[a.d. 1180.] A new coinage, of a round shape, was struck 
in England. Lewis, king of France, died, and was buried at 
the abbey of Barbeaux. Hugh, abbot of St. Edmund's, re- 
turning from tlie tomb of St. Tliomas, fell from his horse, and 
so died from infirmity and old age. 

[a.d. 1181.] A boy, named Robert, was sacrificed by the 
Jews, at St. Edmund's, on Wednesday the fourth of the ides 
[the 10th] of June. King Lewis was succeeded by his son 
Philip, who put himself under the guidance of the king of 
England. Pope Alexander wrote touching rendering succour 
to the Holy Land. Lucius succeeded Alexander. 

[a.d. 1182.] Henry, duke of Saxony, having incurred the 
hostihty of the emperor Frederic, came into Normandy to 
king Henry, with his wife and family. Tax-gatherers were 
burnt throughout France. 

[a.d. 1183.] King Henry, the son, died penitent, in sack- 
clotii and ashes, on the third of the ides [the 11th] of June, 
and was buried at Mans. Then Walter de Constance was 
consecrated bishop of Lincoln at Rouen ; tlie year following 
lie was raised to the arcliiepiscoj^al see of Rouen. 

[a.d. 1184.] Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, died. 
He was succeeded by Baldwin, bishop of Worcester. A 
fountain in Scotland flowed with blood. Saladin and Safadin, ( 
kings of the Saracens, wrote to the lord pope touching the J 
ransom of captives, in the year of the Htyira 578. The 
emperor Frederic gave the crown of the German empire to 
his son Henry. The holy order of the knights in Spain, with 
the red sword for their badge, was confirmed by the pope. 
Astrologers struck terror into men's hearts by predicting 
future events from the conjunction of planets. 

[a.d. 1185.] The patriarcii Heraclius, and Roger, master 
of the Hospital,^ came into England. John, the king's son, 

' The third council of J/atoran. Soo an account of its proceedings 
in Ro^^cr of Wench) v(t, ihid, vol. i , p. 44. 

- 'I'iic letter is preserved in Hoveden, H)id, vol. i., p. 4!)1. 

' Roger Desmoulinsj he was sluiu at the siege of Acre, iu 1187. 

304 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1186-9. 

was knighted. Duke Henry returned into Saxony, contented 
with his patrimonial states. The church of Lincoln was 
shattered by an earthquake, on the eighteenth of the calends 
of May [1.5th April]. Pope Lucius died, and Urban suc- 
ceeded him. 

[a.D. 1186.] Geoffrey, duke of Brittany, the king's son, died, 
and was buried at Paris. Hugh, a native of Grenoble, and prior 
of the Carthusian order in England, becomes bishop of Lincoln. 
Henry, king of Germany, married Constance, daughter of 
Roger L, king of Sicily, who was the son of Roger, count of 
Sicily, brother of Robert Guiscard, of Norman origin. The 
following verse was inscribed on the seal of king Roger : — 
" Apulia, Calabria, Sicily, and Africa are mine." 
Guy of Joppa^ was crowned king of Jerusalem. 
[a.D. 1187.] Constance, countess of Brittany, gave birth 
to a posthumous son, named Arthur. The cross of Christ was 
captured by Saladin, near Tiberias,^ on the fourth of the 
nones [the 4th] of July ; and two hundred and thirty per- 
sons were beheaded with B. de Chatillon, their lord. Pope 
Urban died ; Gregory YIII. succeeded him. Richard, earl of 
Poitou, the first of the peers, took the cross. Pope Gregory 
died ; Clemens III. succeeded him. 

[a.D. 1 1 88.] The kings of France and England took the cross. 
Richard Barre, archdeacon of Lisieux, was sent as ambassador 
to the emperors of Rome and Constantinople, respecting a free 
passage for the kings of France and England. At Dunstable, 
on the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of August, at the ninth hour 
of the day, a cross of wonderful size was seen in the heavens, 
with Jesus Christ nailed to it, crowned with thorns : blood 
flowed from the wounds, but did not fall to the ground. 
This appearance lasted from the ninth hour until evening. 
The emperor Frederic wrote to Saladin^ for the liberation of 
king Guy and twenty thousand Christian souls. 

[^Order of the Gilber tines. ^ 

[a.D, 1189.] St. Gilbert, founder and creator of the order 
of Sempringham,^ died on the nones [the 5th] of February. 

' Guy de Lusignan. 

^ 8ee Roger de Hoveden, vol. ii., p. 60, Antiq. Lib. 
^ The letter is preserved by Wendover. See vol. ii., p. 64. 
* In Leicestershire, the Gilbertines soon counted 26 houses, con- 
taining 700 brethren and 1,500 sisters in their order. 

A.D. 1190, 1191.] DEATH OF HENRY 11. 305 

King Henry Fitz-empress, died on the second of the nones 
[the Gtli] of July, and >vas buried at Fontevrault. Earl 
Itichard was absolved by the archbishops of Canterbury and 
Iiouen for having taken arms against his father. Geoftrey 
Iwidel, bisliop of Ely, died on the twelftli of the calends of 
Sej)teni))or [21st August]. Earl Ricliard was crowned king 
at London, on the third of the nones [the 3rd] of September, 
on wdiich day the Jews were massacred at London. King 
Richard gave to the Cistercian monks one hundred marks 
yearly, to procure themselves a chapter. 

[a.d. 1190.] William de Longchamp, the [bishop-] elect 
of Ely, caused himself to be enthroned on the feast of 
Epiphany with great pomp and ceremony : in consequence, 
these verses were made ; — 

'* When Ely keeps high festival, a glorious sight, 
Others before her pale, as day outshines the night." 

Geoffrey, a son of king Henry, was elected archbishop of 
York, and the election was confirmed by the pope. Numbers 
flocking to Jerusalem, put Jews to death. The Jews were 
massacred at Norwich : many were trampled down during 
the time the fair was held at Stamford ; at York five 
hundred fell by each others' hands, on the seventeenth of the 
calends of [April 16th March]. At St. Edmund's, the 
Jews were butchered on the fifteenth of the calends of April 
[18th Marcli], it being Palm Sunday ; those who survived 
were, at the instigation of abbot Sampson, banished from 
that place for ever. William, bishop of Ely, becomes the 
pope's legate, justiciary of England, and the king's chancellor. 
The emperor Frederic, in his journey to Jerusalem, is 
drowned in the river Cydnus : Henry succeeded him as 

Tlic kings of France and England landed at Messina, in 
the month of October. The Sicilian insurgents are excluded 
from Messina by the king of England. Baldwin, the arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, died on St. Edmund's day, having 
encumbered his see by nuich extraordinary expense. Pope 
Clement died : Celestine III. succeeded him. 

[a.d. 1191.] This pope crowned Henry, king of Germany, 



as emperor of Kome, on Easter Monday [15th April]. On 
the fourth day of Easter the city of Tusculum,^ founded by 
the Romans, was laid in ruins. King Richard conquered 
Cyprus and its emperor Isaac, whose standard he sent to St. 
Edmund's. While he was in Cyprus he married Berengaria, 
daughter of the king of Navarre, on the fourth of the ides 
[the 4th] of May. King Richard sunk a large Saracen bark, 
between Tyre and Acre. Geoffrey, archbishop of York, who 
had been lately consecrated at Tours, was arrested at Dover 
on his return to England. William [bishop] of Ely, flying 
with terror from the presence of earl John, was taken at 
Dover in a woman's dress ; but being liberated soon after- 
wards, he crossed the sea to solicit the intervention of our 
lord the pope. The sun suffered an eclipse on the ninth of 
July [23rd of June], so that the stars were visible during 
three hours. The city of Acre was surrendered to the kings 
of Erance and England, on the fourth of the ides [the 12th] 
of July, with many prisoners and great store of wealth. 

[Richard taken prisoner on his return from the Holy Land?^ 

[a.D. 1192.] The king of France returned from the Holy 
Land and was welcomed at Paris. A caravan of Saracens is 
taken by king Richard, on its way from Babylon. King 
Richard recovers Joppa, which the Saracens had reduced. A 
truce was made between the Christians and Saracens, on the 
eight of the ides [the 6th] August, from the ensuing Easter 
[5th of April], for three years, three months, three weeks, 
three days, and three hours. King Richard returning from 
the Holy Land, entered the territories of Leopold, duke of 
Austria, by M'hom he was made prisoner at the city of Vienna, 
on the thirteenth of the calends of January [20th December], 
He had embarked on the feast of St. Denys on the seventh of 
the ides [the 9th] of October. 

John, hearing of his brother's captivity, entertained the 
hope of seizing the crown, and fortified many castles in Eng- 
land : he also crossed the sea and made an alliance with the 
king of France. The duke of Austria delivered the king of 
England, for a sum of money, to Henry, the emperor of Rome, 

* Now Frascati. 

A.D. 1194, 1195.] RICHARD I. RELEASED. 307 

mIio placed him in custody at a place called Trifels,^ of which 
place Aristotle says, at the close of the second book of his 
Topics, " Parricide is reckoned a virtue at Trifels ; but 
common murder is no virtue." 

Hubert Fitz-Walter, bishop of Salisbury, was elected arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, on the third of the calends of June 
[30th May]. The king's ransom amounted to the large sum 
of one hundred thousand pounds in money. The emperor 
allotted fifty thousand marks for the share of Leopold, and 
covetously kept the rest. The prelates and nobles flocked in 
great numbers to Germany, to visit the king. Eleanor, the 
queen mother, also went over to him. Hubert [archbishop] of 
Canterbury was enthroned. 

[a.d. 1194.] On the second of the nones [the 4th] of 
February, king Richard was released from captivity, in which 
he had spent one year, six weeks, and three days, and landed 
at the port of Sandwich on the third of the ides [the 
13th] of March. He then hastened to visit St. Edmund's. 
From motives of policy king Richard was [again] crowned at 
, Winchester, on the octave of Easter [17th April]. King 
Richard, crossing over to Normandy, received the submission 
of all the country from Yerneuil to Carlcroix. Leopold, 
duke of Austria, fell from his horse on St. Steplien's day, and 
having crushed his foot in the fall, it was, by the advice of his 
physicians, amputated, and he died in consequence, by the just 
judgment of God, in great suffering.^ 

[a.d. 1195.] Hubert [archbishop] of Canterbury was 
created papal legate on the fifteenth of the calends of Aj)ril 
[18th March]. The Old Man of the Mountain lately sent a 
letter to Leopold, duke of Austria, exonerating Ricliard, king 
of England, from the charge of murdering the marcpiis Conrad.^ 
It was dated in the year one thousand five hundred and five, 

' " The castle of Trefels, near Anweiler, a small town between 
Landau and Zwoybriicken [Deux Pontsj, the picturescpie ruins of 
wliich are still an object highly interesting to the antiquarian 
traveller." — Thorpe. 

* In the charters connected with Scottish affairs, inserted towards 
the close of this work, there is one from kinj^ Iliehard to William of 
Scotland, granted this year. See Ilovedeii, vol. ii., pp. .318, respecting 
these and other important transactions after Richard's return from 

** See the letter in Wcndovcr, vol. ii., p. 129. 

V 2 

308 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1196, 1197. 

from the time of Alexander the Great. Hugh, bishop of 
Lincoln, paid the king a thousand marks instead of the 
mantle of sables annually presented by his predecessors.^ 
Eustace, bishop of Nidaros, in Norway,^ was banished because 
he refused to take part in the coronation of Suerre, prince of 
Norway, which was performed against the pope's prohibition. 
Alfonso, king of Castile, expelled the Pagans from his 

[a.d. 1196.] William Long-beard, citizen of London, was 
hung, and eight others with him.^ King Eichard gave the 
county of Poitou to his nephew Otho, son of Henry, duke of 
Saxony. The count of St. Giles married Joanna, formerly 
queen of Sicily, and sister of Richard, king of England. 
William, earl of Salisbury, son of earl Patrick, died ; and king 
Richard gave his daughter to William, his bastard brother, 
with the earldom. King Richard fortified the castle of 
Andelys against the consent of the archbishop of Rouen, the 
lord of that castle ; and thereupon the archbishop laid the 
whole of Normandy under an interdict. Marchades, the in- 
famous prince of Brabant, and John, <30unt of Mortain, 
captured Philip, bishop of Beauvais. 

[a.D. 1197.] William, bishop of Ely, died, and was buried 
at the Cistercian abbey of Des-Pins.^ John, bishop " Cane- 
riensis" dying, thrae others, successively elected in his place, 
all died within forty days. Robert Longchamp, the chan- 
cellor's brother, was made abbot of York ; Henry de Long- 
champ, his third brother, was the eminent abbot of Croyland. 
The archbishop of Rouen received in exchange for Andelys the 
vill of Dieppe with its appurtenances, and several others. 
The son of Frederic the emperor, by the empress Constance, 
daughter of Roger, king of Sicily, a child seven years old, was 
baptized by the name of Frederic. He succeeded Otho as 
emperor of the Romans. Safadin, brother of Saladin, took 
Joppa, and slew in it more than twenty thousand Christians. 

^ See Hoveden, vol. ii., p, 371. 

^ The archbishop's name was Eystein; Nidaros is the ancient name 
of Trondhjem or Drontheim. See the Saga of king Suerre, in 
Snorro's Heimskringla. 

^ For the details of the insurrection under William Fitz-Osbern, 
see Hoveden, vol. ii., p. 388, and Wendover, ii., 146. 

* He died at Poictiers, on his way to Rome. 

A.D. 1198.] REIGX OF RICHARD I. 309 

Henry the emperor died and was succeeded by Otho, son of 
Henry, duke of Saxony and nephew of king Richard. 

Frederic, son of the emperor Henry, was made king of 
Sicily by the pope. John Comyn, archbishop of Dublin, pre- 
ferring exile rather than to endure the injuries done him by 
the vassals of John, the king's brother, departed, after excom- 
municating the oftenders. On his going away, a certain 
wooden crucifix, in the church at Dublin, appeared to shed 
tears, about the sixth hour, and blood and water flowed from 
its right teat, which the clergy of the church collected, and 
sent an account of the miracle to the pope, attested by them- 

[a.d. 1198.] Ethelwold, bishop of Winchester, had, in the 
year of our Lord nine hundred and seventy-three, partly 
ejected secular canons from the English church and substituted 
monks. Hugh, bishop of Chester, being of a contrary opinion, 
in the year of our Lord one thousand and ninety-one, expelled 
the monks from Coventry and introduced clerks. In the 
present year, Hubert, archdeacon of Canterbury, Hugh, 
[bishop] of Lincoln, and Sampson, abbot of St. Edmund's, 
by order of the pope, removed the canons, and restored the 
monks.^ Pope Celestine [HL] died ; Lotharius, a cardinal- 
deacon, succeeded him, under the name of Innocent III. 

Otho was crowned emperor of Germany. Eustace, bishop 
of Ely, was consecrated on the eighth of the ides [the 8th] of 
March. Geoffrey Fitz-Peter was made justiciary of England, 
in the place of Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury. King- 
Richard defeated the king of France at Gisors on the fourth 
of the calends of October [28th September].^ A tax of five 
shillings was imposed on every plough-land throughout 
England. The shrine of St. Edmund was consumed by firo 
on the sixteenth of the calends of November [17th October]. 
It rained blood on the castle of le Roche-Andelys. Richardy 
bishop of London, died: he was succeeded by William, of St. 
Mary's church,'' of Norman race. 

* Hoveden gives a circumstantial account of the miracles, and of 
the archbishop's exile, vol. ii., p. 407. 

' See Hoveden, vol. ii., p. 412. 

3 See Wendover, vol. ii., p. 17.5. Hoveden, vol. ii., p. 431. 

* Roger of Wendover calls him a " canon of St. Paul's, London.'* 

310 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1199, 1200. 

[Death of Richard I. and Accession of King John.] 

[a.D. 1199.] King Richard died in Aquitaine, on the 
eighth of the ides [the 6th] of April, after a reign of nine 
years, six months, and ten days, and eleven days after he was 
wounded by Bertrand de Gurdim, before the castle of 
Chaluz.^ He was buried at Fontevrault, by the side of his 
father. John, lord of Ireland, was crowned king at West- 
minster, on the sixth of the calends of July [26th June] ; on 
which day he gave to William Marshal the earldom of Strigul, 
and to Geoffrey Fitz-Peter the earldom of Essex. Philip, 
king of France, knighted Arthur, duke of Brittany. The 
pope and the Romans made Otho emperor. 

[a.D. 1200.] King John levied three shillings on every 
plough-land, save only those belonging to the monks. Lewis, 
son of the king of France, married Blanche, daughter of the 
king of Castile, through the mediation, for the sake of peace, 
of king John, the uncle of Blanche. Marchades of Brabant 
was slain by a townsman of Bourdeaux. France was laid 
under an interdict in consequence of the king having divorced 
Botilde.^ King John married Isabel, daughter of the count 
of Angouleme, on the ninth of the calends of September 
[24th August]. John, bishop of Norwich clied : John de Grey 
succeeded him. The church of Rouen and nearly the whole 
city were consumed by fire. A quarrel arose between the 
citizens of Paris and the German scholars, in which the 
[bishop] elect of Liege was slain .^ Eustace, abbot of Haye, 
illustrious for the miracles he wrought, came into England to 
preach, and forbade the sale of goods in the market on the 
Lord's-day.^ St. Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, departed to the 
Lord at London, on the sixteenth of the calends of December 
[16th November]. 

^ See Hoveden, vol. ii., p. 453, &c., for the details of Richards 
death before Chaluz, near Limoges. He calls the person who shot 
him Bertamnus de Gurdun ; by V/endover he is called Petnis Basilius, 
and by Gervase Johannes Sahraz. 

^ Ingebourg, sister of Canute VI., king of Denmark. 

3 Hoveden gives the details of this emeute, vol. ii.. p. 484. 

* For particulars of this movement against the desecration of the 
Lord's-day, see Wendover, vol. ii., pp. 190 — 192. Hoveden, Yol. ii., 
pp. 526—530. 

A D. 1201-4.] WARS IX NORMANDY. 311 

[a.d. 12<)1.] There was an earthquake in England on the 
sixth of the itles of January [8th January], King Jolin, 
crossing over to Irehmd, collected a large sum of money, and, 
on his return to England, was crowned at Canterbury, 
togetlier with his queen, on Easter day [2oth March]. He 
then went to Paris, where he was received in solemn pro- 
cession and lodged in the royal palace. Walter de Ghent, the 
first abbot of Waltham, died on tlie sixth of the nones 
[the 6th] of May. Eustace, abbot of Haye, returned into 
France, because his preaching was disagreeable to many 
prelates of the church. 

[a.d. 1202.] Hugh, who was abbot of St. Edmund's, and 
afterwards bishop of Ely, became a monk on the feast of 
the Assumption of St. Mary [15th August], The same year, 
Arthur, the son of Geoflrey, duke of Brittany, was knighted 
by the king of France. Eleanor was besieged by Artliur 
and the troops of the king of France, in the castle of 
Mirabeau ; but king John coming to the rescue, raised the 
siege and took Arthur, and more than two hundred of the 
nobles with him. The count of Flanders, with the countess, 
set forth on the road to Jerusalem. Arthur was sent 
prisoner to Falaise. 

[a.d. 1203.] The king of France took several fortresses 
of the king of England, in Normandy, some of which he razed 
to the ground, others he preserved entire for his own pro- 
tection. Hugh de Gournay, who betrayed the castle of 
Montfort, which the king of England had committed to his 
custody, surrendered it, with the whole domains, to the king 
of France. The castle of Roche was besieged by the king of 
France. The Norman . nobles revolt from king John. The 
seventh part of the rents of the barons and conventual 
churches in England was paid to king John. The king came 
over from Normandy and landed at Portsmouth on St. 
Nicholas' day [Gth December]. 

[a.d. 12U4.] The king levied scutage in England, namely, 
two marks and a half for each scutage. The castle of Roche was 
taken, and the soldiers of tlie king of England were carried 
off into France. There was a red light in the sky, like fire, 
on the calends [the 1st] of April, which lasted till midnight, 
and the stars aj)|)eare(l also bright red. The whole of Nor- 
mandy, Anjou, Maine, and Poitou submitted to the king of 

312 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1205-7. 

France. Queen Eleanor died on the twelfth of the calends of 
April [21st March] and was buried at Fontevrault. The 
count of Flanders took Constantinople and was made emperor. 

[a.D. 1205.] A sharp frost lasted from the nineteenth of 
the calends of February [14th January] until the eleventh of 
the calends of April [22nd March]. The money issued long 
before, in the year eleven hundred and fifty-eight, was this year 
re-coined. At this time there was a severe famine, for the 
quarter of wheat was sold for fourteen shillings. The king 
of France took Chinon. Hubert, archbishop of Canterbury, 
died on the third of the ides [the 13th] of July. 

[a.D. 1206.] King John sailing from England with a large 
army, landed at Rochelle, on the seventh of the ides [the 9th] 
of July. A truce for two years was agreed on between the 
kings of France and England, on the calends [the 1st] of 
November. The king of England thereupon returned and 
landed at Portsmouth, on the second of the ides [the 12th] of 
December. John of Florence, the papal nuncio, having col- 
lected large sums of money, held a synod at Reading, on the 
thirteenth of the calends of November [20th October]. Then, 
having carefully packed up his treasures, he hurried back to 

[a.D. 1207.] A sudden wind prostrated a great number of 
houses and trees in England, on the sixth of the calends of 
February [27th January]. An eclipse of the sun happened 
on the second of the calends of March [28th February]. 

The elections of the bishop of Norwich, and of the sub-prior 
of Canterbury, being annulled, Master Stephen Langton, priest- 
cardinal, was elected archbishop, and consecrated by pope 
Innocent [III.] at the city of Yiterbo, on the fifteenth of 
the calends of July [l7th June]. The king was so indignant 
at this that all the monks of Canterbury were expelled from 
England,^ except fourteen who were infirm ; and some monks 
from Rochester, St. Augustine's, and Feversham were substi- 
tuted to perform the service ; Fulk de Canteloupe managing, 
or rather dissipating, the property, and the lands of the arch- 
. bishop lying waste. 

King Otho came to England to confer with his uncle, king 
John, and having received from his said uncle five thousand 

* See Wendover, vol. ii., p. 241. 

A.D. 1208, 120!).] REIGN OP KING JOHN'. 313 

marks, returned to his own country. Queen Isabel bore a son 
on the feast of St. Remi [1st October], who was named 
Henry. ^ The thirtietli part of all tlie chattels in England 
was granted to king John. The archbishop of York, only, 
refusing his assent, retired j)rivately from England. 

[a.d, 1208.] There was an eclipse of the sun, which 
apj^eared of a red colour, on the third of the nones [the 3rd] 
of February. An interdict was laid on the whole of England, 
on the tenth of the calends of April [23rd March] by 
William bishop of London, Eustace bishop of Ely, and Malger 
bishop of Worcester, by a mandate from the pope, because 
John, in disobedience to the pontifical monitions, had 
refused to receive the archbishop and the monks of 
Canterbury. The concubines of the clergy, throughout Eng- 
land, were com})elled by the king's officers to pay ransom. 
Philip, duke of Swabia, Otho's adversary, was assassinated in 
his own chamber. The princes and nobles of Germany did 
homage to Otho. The bishops of London, Ely, Worcester, 
and Hereford, retired out of England. The Cistercian monks 
celebrating divine service at the command of their abbot are 
excommunicated by the pope. King John, at Bristol, during 
Christmas, prohibited fowling. Henry, duke of Saxony, 
Otho's brother, came to England to confer with the king, his 

[a.d. 1209.] Lewis, son of the king of France, was 
knighted, with one hundred others, at Compeigne. Con- 
ventual churches were allowed the privilege of having divine 
service celebrated once in the week with closed doors. At 
this time the kings of England and Scotland made an alliance, 
hostages being delivered to the king of England. The fences 
of the forests w-ere burnt, and the corn was laid open to 
the ravages of beasts.^ Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, 
and the bishops of London and Ely, came over to England 
about the the feast of Michaelmas, by the king's order, to 
treat of an accommodation, but returned to France without 
accomplishing it. The All)igeois, men of impious character 
and enemies of the name of Christ, were nearly all destroyed 
by an army in the parts of Thoulouse. King Otho was 
crowned emperor of Home, on Sunday, the fourth of the 

' Afterwards kin^j Ilonry HI. 

^ By order of king John. See Wendover, vol. ii., p. 249. 

314 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1210-12. 

nones [the 4th] of October. Sentence was pronounced 
against king John about the feast of St. Denys [9th October], 
unless he made satisfaction before the feast of All Saints 
[8th November], which he did not do. All the bishops left 
England, except the bishop of Winchester, lest they should 
have to communicate with the king. Hugh, the bishop-elect 
of Lincoln, was consecrated by Stephen, archbishop of 
Canterbury, at Melun, on the twelfth of * the calends of 
January [21st December]. 

[a.D. 1210.] A dissension arose between the pope and 
the emperor Otho. A frost lasted seven weeks, during which 
cattle, fishes, and birds famished. The Jews, in every part of 
England, both men and women, were thrown into prison. 
Matilda de Braiose and her son William were starved to death 
at Windsor.-^ She gave a precious cloth to the abbey of St. 
Edmund's, for the use of the refectory. The pope excommu- 
nicated the emperor Otho, for having persecuted Frederic, 
king of Sicily. All the princes of the empire were also 
absolved from their oath of allegiance to Otho. The tower of 
the church of St. Edmund was thrown down by a violent 
wind, on the ninth of the calends of October [23rd Sep- 

[a.D. 1211.] William de Braiose died at Paris, and was 
buried at St. Victor's. King John reduced Wales to sub- 
mission, and subjected them to the English laws. The count 
of Boulogne revolted from the king of France. Pandulph, a 
sub-deacon, the pope's nuncio, and Durand, a brother [of the 
Temple], came over to England to restore concord, but re- 
turned without effecting it. Sampson, of blessed memory, 
abbot of St. Edmund's, died on the third of the calends of 
January [30th December]. King John knighted the son of 
the king of Scots. 

[a.D. 1212.] The emperor Otho married Isabel, daughter 
of the king of Swabia, and the marriage was consummated, 
but she died a fcAv days afterwards. The greatest part of the 
city of London was consumed by fire, and vast numbers of 
people perished by the fire, the smoke, and water.^ 

^ See Wendover, vol. ii., p. 254, 255. 

^ The fire seems to have been confined to Southwark and its neigh- 
bourhood. Matt. Paris gives the details : " On the night of the 
translation of St. Benedict, the church of St. Mary, at Southwark, in 

A.D. 1212.] REVOLT OF THE BARONS. 315 

It was reported to kiiip: John that all the nobles of 
England were released from tlieir allegianee by letters re- 
ceived from the pope. Tliereupon he suspected every one, 
but after takhig hostages from them, he ielt more secure. 
Robert Fitz- Walter was ordered to be arrested, but he 
took refuge in France, with his wife and children.-^ King 
John received an assurance in writing from the barons of 
England, that they would stand by him in his opposition to 
the pope. Geoft'rey, a clerk of Norwich, because, as it was 
alleged, he had read the letters of our lord the pope in the 
presence of the barons, was summoned before the king at 
Nottingham, and in the meantime was loaded, or rather 
dressed with fetters, until he expired.^ The archdeacon of 
Huntingdon, being imprisoned, gave the king two thousand 
marks for his release. The burgesses of Bury St. Edmund's 
promised, though reluctantly, that they would make a contri- 
bution through the hands of a monk. The king caused the 
hostages of the Welsh to be hung at Nottingham. The monks 
and clergy wrote to the pope, at the instance of the king of 
England, that they had freely and of their own mere goodwill 
forgiven him all the injuries ho had inflicted on them. 

King Philip assembled a powerful fleet for the invasion and 
conquest of England, part of which was burnt on the coast by 
the nobles of England. In those days there lived in England 
a certain man named Peter the W^ise,^ who predicted to king 
John the misfortunes which afterwards happened to him ; for 
this he was ordered to be hung at Corfe. Savary de Mauleon 
rising in arms against the king of England in Poitou, reduced 
the whole country in a few days, Rochelle only resisting his 

liOndon, was burned, and also the bridge of London between three 
piers, as well as a chapel on the bridge, besides a great portion of 
the city, and part of tlie town of Southwark, the fire making its way 
across the bridge. IJy this calamity about a thousand people were 
killed, including many women and children." 

' Sec the reason of his flight in Roger de Wendover, and the quo- 
tation from Matt Paris. Ibid, vol. ii., p. 208. 

' See the horrid details in Matt. Paris, quoted in a note to 
Wendover, vol. ii., p. 200. 

^ He lived in Yorkshire, and was called Peter the Hermit. See the 
particulars of his j)r()phecy in Wendover fvol. ii., p. 258], who says 
that he was kept in ciiains at Corfe to await its event. 

316 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1213-15. 

[a.d. 1213.] Cardinal Nicholas, bishop of Tusculum,^ per- 
forms the functions of legate in England. Hugh, a monk of 
St. Edmund's, was unanimously elected abbot of that monas- 
tery by the monks, but shortly afterwards there was a 
schism in the convent respecting the election. Nicholas, the 
legate of the apostolical see, was at St. Edmund's on Christ- 

[a.d. 1214.] King John made an expedition into Poitou 
about the feast of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd February].^ 
A battle was fought in Flanders, near Bovines, on a Sunday, 
between the king of France and the barons of the king of 
England, in which the counts of Flanders and Boulogne, and 
William, earl of Salisbury, were taken prisoners, on the side 
of the king of England. The emperor Otho was also present, 
but perceiving the event of the battle he took to flight. The 
general interdict in England was relaxed, by order of pope 
Innocent, on the sixth of the nones [the 10th] of July. It 
had now lasted six years, fourteen weeks, and three days. 

[a.d. 1215.] Eustace, bishop of Ely, died on the second 
of the nones [the 4th] of February. Frederic, king of Sicily, 
son of the former emperor, Henry, succeeded the emperor 
Otho. Hugh, the [abbot] elect of St. Edmund's, had his elec- 
tion confirmed by judges, deputed by the pope, on the fifth of 
the ides [the 11th] of March, and received the benediction 
from Benedict, bishop of Rochester. 

In this year, about Easter [19th April], the war began 
between John and the barons.^ John de Grey, bishop of 
Norwich, died, and Pandulph, the pope's sub-deacon, was 
elected. A fire broke out on the third of the nones [the 3rd] 
of June, which consumed great part of the town of Bury St. 

^ Frascati. The Continuator of Florence strangelj' omits any notice 
of the eventful events of this year, in which John [on the 15th May, 
the eve of Ascension-day] resigned his crown and did homage to the 
pope, on whose part Pandulph acted. Roger of Wendover gives 
details of these important transactions, and a curious account of John's 
oifer to become tributary to the emperor of Morocco, with charters 
and other documents. See vol. ii., pp. 261—270 ; 283—292. 

^ See Wendover, ibid., p. 293. He also gives a particular account 
of the campaign in Flanders. 

^ Here, again, the absence of details on king John's struggle with 
the barons, his grant of the great charter of liberties, and all the 
important events which occurred towards the close of his reign, is 
very remarkable in a Chronicle undoubtedly cotemporary. 

A.D. 1216, 1217.] DEATH OF KING JOHN. 317 

Edmund's. Pope Innocent held a council in the Latcran in 
tlie month of November, at which there were present tln*ee 
hundred and twelve bishoj)s and more than two liundred 
abbots and priors, besides the ambassadors of Frederic and 
many others. 

[a.d. 1216.] "Walo, a cardinal priest, by the title of St. 
Martin, came to England on the thirteenth of the calends of 
June [20th May]. The barons of England having given 
hostages to Philip, king of France, Lewis, his son, invaded 
England, and the city of London immediately submitted to 
him. The pope excommunicated the barons and laid an in- 
terdict on those parts of England where those rebels against 
tlie king were present. [Pope] Innocent [HL] died on the 
sixteenth of the calends of August [17th July] ; Honorius 
[III.] succeeded him. 

[Death of king John — Henry III. succeeds to the throne.^ 

King John died on the fifteenth of the calends of November 
[28th October], and was buried at Worcester. He was suc- 
ceeded by his son Henry, who was crowned at Bristol by 
Walo, cardinal and legate, on the fifth of the calends of 
November [28th October], He was the twenty-second king 
of England from Alfred, who was the first monarch of Eng- 
land after the time of the Britons. 

[a.d. 1217.] In the battle of Lincoln, the count of Perche 
and many others of the French were slain on the thirteenth of 
tlie calends of July [19th June]. Moreover, tlie barons and the 
French were repulsed from their siege of the castle by the 
royal troops.^ The army, which was on its way from France 
in aid* of Lewis, was nearly drowned in a naval action with 
Hubert de Bur":h and the other faithful adherents of the kino-, 
fought at the mouth of the river Thames, on the 9th of the 
calends of September [24th August]. John, abbot of Wells, 
was elected bishop of Ely. Lewis, having been absolved by 
Walo, the legate, from the sentence of excommunication, re- 
turned to France. Then, after two years and a half of war, 
blessed peace was restored about the Nativity of St. Mary 
[8th September]. 

^ See a circumstantial account of the battle of Tjncohi, and occur- 
rences connected with it, in WenJover, vol. ii , p. 391, und sub. 

318 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1218-24. 

[a.d. 1218.] Ealph, prior of Norwich, was consecrated 
bishop of Chichester. Walo departed from England on the 
twelfth of the calends of December [20th November], 
Pandulph, the bishop-elect of Norwich, was made papal legate 
in England. The city of Damietta, in Egypt, which, according 
to some, is called Memphis, was besieged by the Christians 
after Easter [15th April]. The siege lasted more than a year 
and a half, during which, at one time the Christians, at 
another the Saracens, were victorious, according to their 
various fortunes. 

[a.d. 1219.] The city of Damietta was taken by the 
Christians on Tuesday the nones [the 5th] of November, 
when, out of forty thousand armed men, to whom the defence 
of the place had been entrusted, and as many women, scarcely 
fifty were found alive at its capture, for all had perished, 
struck down by the sword of the Lord, and their putrefying 
corpses were found in the sewers. Frederic [11.] was 
crowned by pope Honorius as emperor of the Romans. 

[a.d. 1220.] The translation [of the remains] of St. 
Thomas, archbishop of Canterbury, was made on the nones 
[the 5th] of June. Herbert, prior of St. Edmund's, died on 
the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of September. Richard De 
Lisle succeeded him. 

[a.d. 1221.] Pandulph, the bishop-elect of Norwich, M^as 
removed from the office of legate. Damietta was given up to 
the Saracens, all the Christians being driven thence. 

[a.d. 1222.] Ralph, bishop of Chichester, formerly prior 
of Norwich, died. Pandulph was consecrated as bishop 
of Norwich. Richard De Lisle was elected abbot of Burton ; 
and Henry succeeded him in his priory, on the second of the 
calends of June [31st May], A comet appeared in the 
month of June. Stephen, archbishop of Canterbury, held a 
synod at Oxford with his suffragans. 

[a.d. 1223.] About this time began the pilgrimage to 
Bromholm.^ Philip, king of France, died, and was buried at 
St. Denis : Lewis succeeded him. 

[a.d. 1224.] The castle of Bedford,^ to which siege was laid 

' See the History of the Holy Cross of Bromholm [Norfolk], and 
the miracles ascribed to it, in Wendover, vol. ii., p. 446. 

^ The castle of Bedford was held by Fulk de Breaute, one of king 

A.D. 1225 28.] REIGN OF HENRY III. 319 

in the month of June, was taken on the nineteenth of the 
calends of September [14th August], and all who were found 
in it were hani^fed. 

[a.d. 122.3.] John, bishop of Ely, died on the second of 
the nones [the Gth] of May. Geoffrey, son of the justiciary 
Hubert de Burgh, succeeded him. The order of friars- 
minors and preachers was first established in England. 

[a.d. 122G.] William, earl of Salisbury, died. Pandulph, 
bishop of Norwich, died in Italy on the seventeenth of the 
calends of September [16th August]. He was succeeded by 
Thomas de Blunville, who was consecrated on the seventh of 
the calends of January [26th December], Lewis, king of 
Erance, died at Avignon, and was buried at St. Denis : his 
son Lewis succeeded him. Pope Honorius [HI.] died : he 
was succeeded by the bishop of Ostia, who took the name of 
Gregory IX. Disputes arose between the pope and the em- 
peror, whereupon the pope excommunicated the emperor. 

[a.d. 1227.] 

[a.d. 1228.] The French attacked the Albigeois, with the 
sign of the cross on their breasts. Stephen, archbishop of 
Canterbury, died on the sixth of the ides [the lOthl of July. 
Eustace de Falconberg, bishop of London, died. Geoffrey de 
Burgh, bishop of Ely, died on the sixteenth of the calends of 
January [17th December]. 

Quarrels broke out between the scholars and citizens of 
Paris and the country people of St. Marcel. Wherefore the 
masters gave up their lectures during a whole year, and the 
scholars, being unable to endure the persecution of the legate, 
who was then in France, nearly all went away. Some one 
said of the legate and the queen, with rather too much free- 
dom — 

" We're murder'd, drown'd, stript, plunder 'd, ground. 
The work, I wean, of the legate's quean."' 

Master Richard Magnus [archbishop] elect of Canterbury, 
Master Roger Niger [bishop-elect] of London, and Hugh, 
aljbot of Ely, elected to the bishopric of Ely, were consecrated 
on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of June. 

.John's foroit^n followers. For an account of its siege and capture, 
see Wendover, vo!. ii., p. 451. 

' " En morimur strati, ca.'si, morsi, spoliati, 
Scortum Icgati nos fecit ista pati." 

320 FLOKEXCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1230-36. 

Ta.d. 1230.J King Henry went over to Brittany with an 
army. Eaymond de Burgli, and Gilbert de Clai-e, eai-1 of 
Gloucester, died. King Henry, returning from Brittany, 
landed at Portsmouth in the montli of October, and was at 
"Winchester on the calends [the 1st] of Xovember. 

[a.d. 1231.] Richard, archbishop of Canterbury, died on 
the fourth of the nones [the 2ndJ of August. Thomas, bishop 
of Xorwieh, assisted at the festival of St. Edmund, and 
Richard, abbot of that house, gave the benediction in the \'igil 
after vespers in the bishop's presence, vested in a cope of the 
fashion of the secular clergy. William Marshal, the younger, 
died. Ranulph, earl of Chester, died. 

[a.d. 1232.] Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, having in- 
curred the king's displeasure, was thrown into prison. His 
wile ha\Tng taken sanctuary at St. Edmund's, remained there 
in security until a reconciliation took place. The bishops 
made %-isitations of the religious houses throughout England. 

[a.d. 1233.] Master Edward, of Abingdon, was elected 
archbishop of Canterbury. Richard, abbot of St. Edmund's, 
died at Ponthieu on the fourth of the calends of September 
[29th August]. Henry, prior of St. Edmund's, was elected 
abbot on the feast of SS. Cosmo and Damianus [27th Sep- 

[a.d. 1231.] Henry, abbot-elect of St. Edmund's, received 
the benediction from Hugh, bishop of Ely, at Hatfield, on the 
feast of the Purification [2nd Februaiw]. At the same time 
Gregory was made prior of St. Edmund's. Edmund, the 
[archbishop^ elect of Canterbury, was consecrated on the 
fourth of the nones [the 2nd of April. Richard Marshal was 
killed in Ireland on the thirteenth of the calends of May [the 
19th April . Hubert de Burgh was reconciled with the king 
at Gloucester, on the tenth of the calends of June [23rd May . 
The emperor Frederic married Isabel, the sister of the king 
of England, in the month of June. 

[a.d. 1235.^ Hugh, bishop of Lincoln, died ; he was suc- 
ceeded by master Robert Grosseteste. The bishops of Ely 
and Hereford crossed over to France to receive the daughter 
of the count of Provence, who was betrothed to the king of 

[a.d. 1236.] Henry, king of England, brought over 
Eleanor, daughter of the count of Provence, and married her 

A.D. 1230-9.] HENRY UI. CROWyZD. 321 

at Canterbury', on Sunday, the ides [the 13th] of January. 
King Henn.' and his queen were crowned at London on the 
thirteenth of the calends of February [20th January.] Thomas 
de Blunville, bishop of Xorwich, died on the seventeenth of 
the calends of September [16th August]. 

[a.d. 1237.] Otho, cardinal-deacon, by the title of St. 
Nicholas in the Tullian Prison, came to England on the sixth 
of the ides [the 10th] of July, in the character of legate. 
Meanwhile there was a quarrel between pope Gregory and the 
emperor Frederic. 

[a.d. 1238.] A s\Tiod was held at Oxford after Easter 
[4th April , of which the legate was president. During its 
sitting a tumult arose between the scholars and the legate's 
attendants, in which some of them were wounded and slain. 
Several of the scholars were put in prison by the king's officers. 
The pope excommunicated the emperor Frederic, for divers 
causes, and commanded the excommunication to be enforced. 

Otho, the legate, being on a \-isit to St. Edmund's, the 
friars preachers came to him there, and urgently entreated 
that they might be permit te<l to have a house of residence 
within the limits of the liberties of that church. The monks 
opposing this, the legate went in person to the aforesaid limits, 
and having inspected the monks' charters of privilege,^ decided 
tliat the petition both of the friars-minors and preachers 
should be dismissed. This was done on the eighth of the ides 
[the 6th] of June, being the octave of the Holy Trinity. 

[a.d. 1239.] William de Raleigh was elected bishop of 
Norwich on the fourth of the ides [the 10th] of April. A 
savage race called Tartars, which, lately issuing from the 
islands, had covered the face of the earth, devastated Hungary 
and the adjacent regions. 

Eleanor, queen of England, gave birth, on the fourteenth of 
the calends of July [18th June\ to her eldest son Edward, 
whose father w:is Henry, whose father was John, whose father 
was Henry, whose mother was Matilda, the empress, whose 
motlier was Matilda, queen of England, whose mother was 
Margaret, queen of Scotland, whose father was Edward, 
wliose father was Edmund Ironside, who was the son of 
Ethelred, who was the son of Edgar, who was the son of 
Edmund, wlio was the son of Edward the Elder, who was the 
* See Wendover, Antiq. Lib., vol. ii , p. 40G, iic. 


/ ' 

322 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. ] 240, 1241. 

son of Alfred, The genealogy of Alfred up to Adam, the 
first man, has been already given. 

[a.D. 1240.] At Norwich, four Jews, being charged with 
divers atrocities, were torn asunder by horses, and, at length, 
hanged. The principal charge was that they had circumcised 
a certain Christian boy according to the Jewish rite. 

Kichard, earl of Cornwall, brother of Henry, king of 
England, set out for Jerusalem, accompanied by many English 
nobles, on the third of the ides [the 11th] of June. Our lord 
the pope sent letters after the feast of All Saints [1st Novem- 
ber] to all the prelates of the church, summoning them to be 
present at the apostolic see on the ensuing Easter, without 
fail, by themselves or their envoys, to treat of important 
ecclesiastical affairs. 

Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, departed this life on 
the sixteenth of the calends of December [16th November], 

[a.D. 1241.] The legate Otho set out from England, ou 
his return to Eome, in the month of January ; but, as well as 
two other legates, namely, those of Erance and Italy, and 
many other prelates of the church, embarking at Genoa, fell 
into the hands of the emperor Erederic on the fifth of the 
nones [the 3rd] of May, and he imprisoned them in different 
jDlaces. Some wag said concerning them — 

" Three legates of the court of Rome, 
With many a prelate, hastened home ; 
But fettered were these lettered wights. 
Despite the apostoMc rights ; 
Nor could the churchmen's rank and style 
Save them from suffering durance vile." ^ 

Pope Gregory [IX.] died on the eleventh of the calends of 
September [22nd August]. He was succeeded by cardinal 
Geoflfry, who was consecrated on the fifth of the calends of 
November [28th October], and assumed the name of Celes- 
tine ly. He filled the papal throne [only] seventeen days, 
dying on the third of the ides [the 11th] of November. After 
his death the see remained vacant for one year, seven months, 
and thirteen days. _ ^ , 

Boniface, a native of- Savoy, was. elected archbishop of Canter- 
bury on the oalends [the 1st] of Eebtwp-i'y in the present year. 

* " Omnest'pC8eJatf:pagf|e.«ian^^cn^vOcati, 
I Et tres lesjati veniant nuc Jis^^, ligati." 

A.D. 1242-5.] REIGN OF HENRY ITT. 323 

Eleanor, the wife of Geoflfry, count of Brittany, and sister 
of Arthur, died. Queen INlargaret bore a daugiiter, named 

[a.d. 1242.] Richard, earl of Cornwall, after receiving 
distinguished honours from the emperor Frederic, the king 
of France, and other princes beyond sea, on his return from 
the Holy Land, landed at Dover on the eleventh of tlie calends 
of February [22nd January]. Gregory, prior of St. Edmund's, 
died on the ninth of the calends of May [23rd April]. Daniel 
succeeded. King Henry levied a scutage in England of 
forty shillings for each scutage. The king of England, with 
his queen and nobles, went over the sea to Gascony on ihe 
second of the nones [the 2nd] of Mav. 

[a.d. 1243.] Queen Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, 
who was named Beatrix. Sinebald, a cardinal-priest of St. 
La\vrence-in-Lucina, was consecrated pope on the seventh of 
the calends of July [25th June,] and took the name of Inno- 
cent lY. King Henry and his queen returned from Gascony, 
landing at Portsmouth on the 7th of the calends of October 
r25th September]. Hubert de Burgh, earl of Kent, died on 
the third of the ides [the 13th] of May. Richard, earl of 
Cornwall, married the daughter of the count of Provence, who 
was sister to the queen of England. William, bishop of Nor- 
wich, being named to the see of Wnichester, translated 
himself to Winchester by virtue of a bull of the pope, against 
the king's will. 

[a.d. 1244.] Dissension arose between the kings of 
England and Scotland. On the death of Daniel, prior 
of St. Edmund's, Richard At-Wood, a monk, succeeded 
him on the second of the nones [the 4th] of June. A 
violent whirlwind levelled many trees and houses on the 
third of the ides [the 11th] of June. Peace was renewed 
between the kings of England and Scotland on the ides 
[the 13th] of August, at Newcastle. Pope Innocent came 
into France and staid some time at Lyons. An extraordinary 
conflict took place on the vigil of St. Lucia [12th December], 
between tlie Christians and Kharismians, near Gaza, in which 
all tlie army of the kingdom of Syria, with a host of CMiristians, 
were put to the sword by the before-mentioned Kharismians.^ 

' Co?iner{nos ; the li()r(l(?.s from Kliarizim, a country oast of the 
Caspian Sea, at that time comprising Khorassan. 


324 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1245-8. 

[a.d. 1245]. Queen Eleanor bore a son, who was called 
Edmund, from the name of the glorious king and martyr 
Edmund ; our lord the king requiring, by letter addressed to 
abbot Henry, that he should be enrolled among us. On the 
eighteenth day of January, in the twenty-ninth year of the 
reign of king Henry, Boniface, the [archbishop] elect of 
Canterbury, was consecrated by the pope. Walter, [bishop] 
elect of Norwich, was consecrated on the eleventh of the 
calends of March [19th February]. King Henry led an 
army into Wales after Whitsuntide [4th June]. Pope Inno- 
cent held a council at Lyons, in which he summarily deposed 
Frederic, the emperor of the Romans. Roger de Weseham, 
dean of Lincoln, was consecrated bishop of Coventry on the 
eleventh of the calends of March [19th February]. 

[a.d. 1246.] While pope Innocent resided at Lyons, the 
landgrave Henry was elected by the princes of Germany as 
their king, and the future emperor of the Romans, on Tues- 
day the eleventh of the calends of May [21st April]. The 
same year the landgrave fought a battle with Conrad, son of 
Frederic, the late emperor, in which he defeated Conrad. 
On Conrad's side there were taken prisoners six hundred 
knights, and one thousand two hundred squires, besides the 
foot soldiers and the slain, whose numbers are not recorded. 
The archbishops of Cologne and Mentz, and the bishop of 
Metz, who by order of the pope supported the landgrave 
with their forces, gained a victory at Strasburg in the begin- 
ning of the month of August. Sixteen counts and great 
barons were taken prisoners, besides those already mentioned. 
St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, was canonised. 

[a.d. 1247.] A violent earthquake was felt on the calends 
[the 1st] of March in various parts of England. The land- 
grave, who in the preceding year was elected emperor, died. 
St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, was translated on the 
fifth of the ides [the 9th] of June. Frederic, the late 
emperor, besieged Parma. This year, there was a coinage 
in England ; on which occasion king Henry granted to the 
monks of St. Edmund's a die of the new coinage, with free 
liberty of using it, with a difference, as the king himself used 
his own dies. 

[a.d. 1248.] On the night of the Circumcision [1st 
January] there was a violent storm of wind. Frederic's 
army was defeated by the Parmesans, with great slaughter ; 

A.D. 1248-50.] CRUSADE OP LEWIS IX. 325 

Frederic himself being driven to flight hy a standard with 
a ])icture of the glorious Virgin Mary, wliich the Parmesans 
bore. This liappened on the twell'tli of the calends of March 
[18th February]. 

Henry, abbot of St. Edmund's, died on the thirteenth of 
the calentls of July [19th June] ; after whose death, master 
Edmund de Walpole was elected abbot on the nones [the 7th] 
of July. He had not been a monk two years from the time 
of his taking the habit to the day of his election. The bene- 
diction was given him by Hugh, bishop of Ely, on the fifth 
of the calends of Octol)er [27th September]. 

The same year, Lewis [IX.], king of France, having taken 
the cross, departed from France with his wife after Whit- 
suntide [7th June], towards the Holy Land, and arriving at 
Lyons, received absolution from the pope. Having obtained 
his benediction, he embarked for Cyprus, and landing about 
the feast of St. Michael, spent the winter there. 

[a.d. 1240.] The king of France left Cyprus on the day 
of our Lord's Ascension [13th May], and in Whitsun-week 
[23rd May] arrived by sea before Damietta, which place he 
found almost deserted, and on Thursday, in the same week, 
he took possession of it and all he found there. For the 
citizens of Damietta had retired towards Alexandria, believing 
that the kinsx of France would come to their town. The same 
year, on the twentieth day of November, the said king and 
his army set forth from Damietta on their way to Mansourah, 
where they arrived on the Thursday before Christmas. In 
this march they suffered greatly from the attacks of the 
Saracens. Having encamped at Mansourah, near a river 
called Thaneos, they halted while a raft was constructed to 
enable them to cross the river and give battle to the Saracens, 
erecting machines to defend the passage, which, however, 
were burnt by the Saracens. 

[a.d. 1250.] On the first day of the CarnivaP [23rd 
January], the king of France, after a consultation with his 
kniglits, determined to pass the river, a Saracen being in- 

' Die Cnrnijji'ivii ; Septuagosima, which is called the Sunday of the 
"Carnival" in Fitz-Stephen's Hist, ol* Thomas a Bockct, and in a 
charter of the year 119."). It appears to have been orij^inally the com- 
mencement of the Carniprivhim before Lent, which was afterwards 
deferred till Quinquaji^csiina. Every on(^ knows that the Carnival 
now ends on Mardi Uras, the Tuesday after Sexagesima, six wceka 
before Easter. 


diiced by a reward to show them a good passage. But the 
Templars, Robert, count of Artois, the lord William Longue- 
spee, the lord R. de Coucy, and several others, having crossed 
the river, not waiting for the king's troops and without, any 
precautions, pushed forward beyond Mansourah, as it is said 
at the suggestion of the count of Artois, and marching in, 
disorder and without cross-bow men, they were overwhelmed 
by an immense body of Pagans ; and the king was not able 
to afford them any succour, inasmuch as he himself was sur- 
rounded by a vast multitude of the Pagans. On that day, 
therefore, and in that conflict, most of the knights Templars, 
the count of Artois, William Longuespee, R. de Coucy, and 
many other Christians, fell. The king halted there with his 
army during the whole of Lent, suffering severely from sick- 
ness and famine, besides frequent attacks by the Pagans. 

Under these circumstances, the king, perceiving the various 
perils which threatened him, on Tuesday after the octave of 
Easter^ [3rd April], retraced his steps towards Damietta, a 
movement which was betrayed to the Pagans by some 
Christian renegadoes. In consequence, on the following day, 
Wednesday, they attacked the Christians with such impe- 
tuosity that they took the king himself with his brothers, and 
the whole army prisoners, and put them in confinement at 
Mansourah, where the king was detained for a month, that is, 
till Ascension day [5th May], On that day the king was- 
released on the terms of surrendering Damietta and releasing 
the captives. Moreover, he paid for his ransom and the costs 
and expenses, one hundred thousand livres sterling, or three 
hundred thousand livres of Tours ; and the Saracens on' their 
part liberated all their prisoners. A truce was also made for 
three years, and the king departed, believing that this con- 
vention would be completely carried into effect ; but the 
Saracens took no pains to fulfil it, for only part of the pri- 
soners were given up. 

William, bishop of Winchester, died on the calends [the 
Ist] of September, and was buried in the church of St. Martin 
at Tours. The ex-emperor Frederic died. William, count 
of Holland, was elected his successor. The same year, there 
was a storm of thunder and lightning at daybreak. 

^ Easter fell that year on the 27th March. 

A.D. 1251-3.] REIGN OF HENRY III. 327 

[Insurrectioji of tiie Pastotireaiix.] 

[a.d. 12")1.] Tlie pope departed from Lyons on Wednes- 
day in Easter week [16th April]. The same year, an 
impostor came into Franco, and gathering about him a vast 
multitude of shepherds, by giving out that ho was " Tlie 
Shepherd," commissioned by the blessed Mother of God, 
and that it was revealed to him by her that by such persons, 
that is shepherds, the Holy Land could be rescued. Having 
travelled through nearly all the cities of France, preaching, 
and pretending to work miracles, he at length came to Orleans 
with his followers, where a tumult broke out between him 
and the clergy, in which many of the clergy, but very many 
more of the shepherds, were slain on the ides [the 13th] of 
June. On the day following, being Friday, the leader of the 
shepherds himself was slain, and all the rest were dispersed.^ 

The same year, on Christmas day, Alexander, king of 
Scotland, was knighted by the king of England, and on the 
morrow he married Margaret, the daughter of that king.^ 

[a.d. 1252.] This year many died from the excessive 
heat of the summer. Also awful thunder claps were heard 
on the morrow of the Assumption of the blessed Virgin. 
War was waged between the Germans and Flemings, in 
which many thousand Flemings fell. The same year, the 
new church at Ely was dedicated on the fifteenth of the 
calends of October [l7th September]. 

Richard, prior of St. Edmund's, died on the tenth of the 
calends of November [23rd October]. Symon do Luton 
succeeded him as prior. This Symon was the first prior who 
was elected by a scrutiny of the abbot Edmund and two 
monks, one named by the abbot and one by the convent, 
who with the abbot took the votes of the electors, and thus 
Symon was declared prior of St. Edmund's. 

[a.d. 1253.] King Henry levied an aid of forty shillings 
for every knight's-fee, on creating his eldest son a knight. 
The same year, king Henry, being desirous to promote the 

' M;itthe\v Paris gives a long account of the follies and excesses of 
this misguided rabble. See vol. ii., pp. 4ol — 4.jS, in Bohn's Atdiq. Lib. 

'^ 'Sliili. of Westin. and Matt. Paris place the marriage of Alexander 
III. and IMari^aret under the year 12r/2, reckoning the year as com- 
mencin;; at Cbristuiaij. 

328 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1253, 1254. 

advancement of his second son Edmund, obtained from the 
pope for five years the tenth of all the movable goods of the 
monks and clergy, under pretence of a subsidy for the Holy 
Land ; but this was done to enable him to make his son 
Edmund king of Sicily and Apulia.^ The same year, king 
Henry confirmed the liberties granted by the charter of 
forests and others formerly granted, under pain of excom- 
munication to those who should contravene such liberties. 

The same year the king embarked at Portsmouth on the 
eighth of the ides [the 6th] of August, intending to cross 
the sea to Glascony to reduce the rebels in that province ; 
which he effected. Robert, bishop of Lincoln, died on the 
nones [the 7th] of October. The sea overflowed its banks 
and flooded many places on the coast. Queen Eleanor gave 
birth to a daughter who was named Catherine. Henry, son 
of the emperor Frederic, and nephew of the king of 
England, died. 

[a.D. 1254.] Conrad, son of the emperor Frederic, died 
on Ascension day [21st May]. Hugh, bishop of Ely, de- 
parted this life on the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of August. 
Master William of Kilkenny, the king's chancellor, was 
elected bishop. Lewis, king of France, returned from the 
Holy Land, and arrived at Paris on the feast of St. Mary the 
Virgin, that is, her Nativity [8th September]. Edward, son 
of the king of England, was knighted in Spain by the king 
of Castile, on the day of the Translation of St. Edward 
[13th October], and soon afterwards married the king's 

King Henry, with the queen and a numerous retinue of 
English nobles, returned into Gascony in the month of 
November, the people there being inclined to peace ; and, 
after visiting the king and queen of France at Paris, he 
made a pilgrimage to St. Edward the confessor at Pontigny,^ 

^ See the particulars of this fruitless undertaking in Matt. Paris. — 
Ibid, pp. 89, 137, 225. , 

^ Pontigny, near Auxerre, where there was a Cistercian abbey, 
founded in 1118, the fine church of which still exists. The remains 
of St. Edmund, archbishop of Canterbury, who died in exile on the 
16th November, 1240, were deposited there. He was canonised in 
1246. Matt. Paris has preserved a letter from the monks to Innocent 
IV., attesting the miracles performed at his tomb, vol. ii. [Antu]. Lib 1, 
p. 512 ; and see the pope's letter of canonisation in the " Additamenta," 

A.D. 1255-7.] RICHARD, KING OF GERMANY. 329 

and on liis departure thence went to Boulogne, where he 
celebrated Christmas. 

[Pope] Innocent [IV.] died. Alexander TV succeeded him. 
Henry, king of England, embarked on the night of St. John 
the apostle [27th December] to return to England. 

[a.d. 1255.J Peter, bisliop of Hereford, at the instigation 
of king Henry, and, as was reported, with the privity of some 
prelates, falsely and treacherously representing himself as the 
procurator of all the clergy of England, entered into an 
obligation bi^iding all the religious houses in England, 
exempt or not exempt, to pay certain merchants, both of 
Sienna and Florence, sums, to the amount of one or two 
hundred marks for the lesser houses, three or four hundred 
for the larger, and for some, as much as five hundred. The 
abbey of St. Edmund, king and martyr, he pledged by a bond 
for two hundred marks, and took upon himself to execute 
the instrument as a legally authorised procurator ; and the 
consent of the pope was quoted to give authority to all this ; 
I only hope it was forged. All this money was thus collected 
for the purpose of driving out Manfred, the emperor Fred- 
eric's son, from the territories of Apulia and Sicily, which 
the pope had bestowed on Edmund, the king of England's 
son, who never got them. 

[a.d. 1256.] William, count of Holland, was slain in the 
month of February. William, bishop of Ely, died. On the 
day of the Holy Innocents [l?8th December] there was a 
violent storm of thunder and lightning at Westminster. Ed- 
mund, abbot of St. Edmund's, departed this life on the second 
of the calends of January [31st December]. 

[a.d. 1257.] Pichard, earl of Cornwall, brother of the 
king of England, was elected king of Germany in the month 
of January. Going by way of St. Edmund's to Yarmouth, 
on the day of that saint's translation [29th April], and 
embarking on the feast of the apostles SS. Philip and James 
[1st May], he sailed for Germany, and was crowned, as 
king, by the archbishop of Cologne on Ascension day [17th 

The same year, Symon, prior of St. Edmund's, was elected 
abbot of that monastery on the nineteenth of the calends of 

vol, ii., p. .?9fi. See also Matt. Paris's account of the archbishop, 
passim, in vol. i. 


February [14th January] ; after his confirmation, messengers 
were sent to the apostolic see, but they returned without 
settling the affair, because there was a new rule that all who 
pleaded exemption should come in person to the court of 
Rome. Accordingly the abbot-elect set out on his journey 
towards the said court on the third of the calends of August 
[30th July], and he received the rite of benediction from pope 
Alexander at Yiterbo, on the eleventh of the calends of No- 
vember [22nd October]. 

Memorandum — that the said Symon, abbot of St. Edmund, 
was the first abbot of all the exempt religious houses in Eng- 
land who went to the Roman court for his benediction 
and confirmation, and the costs were two thousand marks 

In the course of this year the king led an army into 

The same year, the friars-minors clandestinely entered the 
burgh of St. Edmund's,-^ on the tenth of the calends of July 
[22nd June], and said mass privately, but aloud, in the hear- 
ing of all who assembled, at the house of Roger de Herde- 
berri, on the east side of the north gate. At this time 
Symon, the prior and abbot-elect, with the sub-prior and 
sacristan, and several other monks, were on their road to our 
lord the king, to make hhn a representation on the subject 
of the election ; but notwithstanding this, the friars' chapel, 
with all the houses which stood in that court, were levelled 
to the ground, just as the knight before mentioned, with the 
friars aforesaid, were sitting down to dinner. 

Walter, bishop of Norwich, died, and was succeeded by 
master Symon de Wanton, This year there were excessive 
rains, causing such vast inundations, that on the ides [the 15th] 
of July, houses, walls, and trees were thrown down, the hay 
was swept off by the force of the current, and bridges without 
number demolished. 

[ad. 1258.] A general scarcity was the consequence of 
the inundations of the preceding year ; for, what had rarely 
happened, the quarter of wheat was sold for as inuch as fifteen 

^ Matt. Paris says they were introduced by the influence of the earl 
of Gloucester, a declared enemy of the abbot and convent, who had 
involved them in an expensive lawsuit, and Gilbert of Preston. Vol. 
iii., p. 278. s 


or even twenty sliillings.^ This caused such a famine, that 
the poor devoured liorse-flesh, the bark of trees, and things 
still worse, wliile multitudes died of starvation. The same 
year all sorts of corn, of which there was an abundant crop, 
were nearly rotted by the rains of the autumn, and in many 
places the harvest lay in the fields after the feast of All 
Saints [the 1st November] ; and many persons gathered into 
their barns on Sundays and other feast-days, when the wea- 
ther happened to be somewhat fair. 

At this time the queen of England, and her Poitevin 
brothers, and Savoyard kinsmen, drew on themselves the 
hatred of the nobles of the realm by the oppressive manner 
in which they used the royal authority, wherever any of them 
had an opportunity of domineering. AVherefore, after Easter, 
in an assembly of all the barons of England at Oxford, cer- 
tain statutes^ were made for sustaining, as it was said, the 
libei'ties of the church and the perogatives of the crown, in 
the presence of our lord the king, and his eldest son Edward, 
who ratified the aforesaid statutes, although reluctantly, by 
the sanction of the royal seal and their oaths. The barons of 
the realm also bound themselves to each other, by the obliga- 
tion of an oath, to fight to the death, if needs be, for their 
maintenance, and take arms against those who infringed them. 
Pursuant to this, at the aforesaid parliament, Aimar, the 
bishop-eleet of Winchester, and William de Valence, and the 
other brothers of the king, both Poitevin and Savoyard, were 
banished the realm of England. After their expulsion, the 
crooked and extortionate dealings before alluded to gradually 
came to an end. 

Ilol)ert, surnamed Russel, was elected prior of St. Ed- 
mund's. In the .same year, on the seventh of the calends of 
May [2.jth April], the friars-minors, suj)ported by the royal 
authoiity and an armed force under the orders of Gilbert de 
Preston, the king's justiciary, intruded themselves into the 
burgh of St. Edmund's, contrary to the rights and privileges 

' Soo Matt. Paris, vol. iii., pp. 265, 283. Richard, the wealthy 
earl of Cornwall and liin^ of Germany, sent over to London fifty ships 
laden with wheat to relieve the scarcity. 

- Sec the account in Matt. Paris of these proceedings of the Parlia- 
ment lii'ld at Oxford at the feast of St. liarnahas, 1*258, commonly 
culled " The Provisiona of Oxford." Vol. iii., p. 2S5. 


332 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1258, 1259. 

of that place. The moon was totally eclipsed in the night of 
the fourteenth of the calends of June [19th May]. In the 
same year, a violent wind blew down a number of houses, 
trees, and towers, on the night of St. Andrew [30th Novem- 
ber], at which time the king was at St. Edmund's. 

A scutage of forty shillings was levied for the expenses of 
the army in Wales. It must be understood that since the coro- 
nation of king Henry, son of king John, scutages have been 
imposed eleven times, as appears by the following table : — 

At the retreat of Louis 2 marks 2nd year. 

Biham 10 shillings 5th year. 

Montgomery 2 marks 8th year. 

Bedford 2 marks 8th year. 

Kerry 2 marks 8th year. 

Brittany, scutage 40 shillings 14th year. 

Poitou 40 shillings 15th year. 

Elweyn '. 20 shillings 16th year. 

Gascony 40 shillings 17th year. 

Gannoc' 40 shillings 29th year. 

Wales 40 shillings 42ndyear. 

[a.D. 1259.] Richard, king of Germany, returned to Eng- 
land about the Purification [2nd February]. This year died 
Eulk, bishop of London, on the twelfth of the calends of June 
[21st May]. An agreement was made between Richard de 
Clare, earl of Gloucester, and the convent of St. Edmund's, 
on the morrow of St. Leonard's [7th November], for settling 
their lawsuit touching the lands of Medehale and Keligham, 
which had lasted nine years and five days. The same year 
the king crossed the sea about the feast of St. Martin [11th 
November], and celebrated Christmas at Paris ; and at this 
time he ceded to the king of France Normandy, Poitou, An- 
jou, and nearly all his territories beyond sea, with the ex- 
ception of Aquitaine. The king of England now also changed 
[the cognisance on] his seal, adopting a sceptre instead of a 
sword ; which gave rise to the following verses : — 

" Peace marks the year — on which may fortune shine — 
One thousand, hundreds two, and fifty-nine. 

' Glamorgan, Morgannoc, 


Then Anjou, Poitou, Normandy, the boast 
Ot" Enp;hin(rs warlike kinj^s, resigned and lost, 
Were the rich trophies of the power of France ; 
And Henry changed his seal and cognisance, 
Assumed I he sceptre for the conqueror's sword. 
Though still a king, no longer Neustria's lord." 

[a.d. 12G0.] Lewis, the eldest son of the king of France, 
died. Tlie king of England returned to England. The king 
and the barons became at variance, because the Provisions 
of Oxford were not observed. Symon de Montfort was the 
leader of the barons. This year, about the Purification of St. 
Mary [2nd February], the debts of the abbot and convent of 
St. Edmund's were apportioned, namely, five thousand marks, 
so that each paid two thousand five hundred. 

[a.d. 12G1.] Tliere was an eclipse of the sun on Friday, 
the calends [the 1st] of April, at the end of the fourth month 
of the year, as the Arabs reckon. [Pope] Alexander [IV.] 
died on the eighth of the calends of June [25th May], and 
the see was void for three months on account of a disagree- 
ment among the cardinals. At last, on the fourth of the 
calends of September [29th August], they elected master 
Jacob de Trecis, patriarch of Jerusalem, who took the name 
of Urban IV. Sanchia, queen of Germany, died. Pope 
Urban canonised St. Richard, bishop of Chichester, and ap- 
pointed the third of the nones [the 3rd] of April to be kept 
as the day of his entombment. 

[a.d. 12G2.] King Henry crossed over to France on the 
fourteenth of the calends of August [19th July], and soon 
after his arrival, he, as well as nearly all his household, fell sick. 
Many of l)is great officers died, and the rest narrowly escaped 
death. Returning thence through Champagne, he crossed the 
sea to England on the eve of St. Thomas the apostle, and 
celebrated the feast of our Lord's Nativity at Canterbury. 

Richard de Clare, earl of Gloucester, died on the eleventh 
of the calends of August [22nd July]. Henry, bishop of 
London, died [also] on the eleventh of the calends of August, 
and Richard Talbot was elected his successor ; })ut lie too died 
immediately after his confirmation, and was succeeded by 
Henry de Sandwich. Johanna, wife of Henry de Hasting, 
gave birth to her son John, at Alesle, on the feast of St. 
John-aute-Portam-Latinam [Gth May]. 

334 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1263-4. 

[a.d. 1263.] On the seventh of the ides [the 7th] of 
February, a fire broke out with sucii fury at [the palace of] 
Westminster that it burnt down the king's chamber, the little 
hall, the chapel, and other buildings. 

There was discord between the king and the barons, because 
the king, through the influence of the queen and others, 
principally foreigners, had prevailed on the pope to absolve 
him from observing the statutes of Oxford and from his oath. 
Whereupon the barons employed ruffians who destroyed the 
property of the queen and the counsellors of the king, at 
whose suggestion he had procured the absolution already men- 
tioned, without respect to their order or dignity. For they 
even dragged the bishop of Hereford out of his church, and 
threw him into prison ; and the bishop of Norwich could find 
no safety but by fleeing with all speed to sanctuary in the 
liberty of St. Edmund. Indeed, at that time, the liberty of 
St. Edmund's was very precious in the eyes of the barons. 
They also plundered the effects of the Roman [clergy] where- 
ever they could find them, driving the owners out of England ; 
and they either preferred others to their churches, or gave 
them up to whom they pleased ; they also treated all aliens in 
the same manner. 

On the eve of the feast of St. Edmund [28th April], the 
friars-minors, making absolute submission, relinquished to 
•the abbot and convent of that place the house which they had 
occupied for five years, six months, and twenty-four days 
within the vill of the saint, into which they were intruded by 
our lord the king, contrary to the liberties of the aforesaid 
church. They were induced to this by a certain papal 
rescript obtained by the convent of St. Edmund, which en- 
joined them, in virtue of their obedience, to withdraw from 
that place ; so that they were not forcibly expelled, but 
retired voluntarily, declaring publicly before all the people 
that their possession of the premises had been illegal. 

[The Civil War and Battle of Lewes. "] 

By mutual consent of Henry, king of England, and the 
barons before mentioned, the case of the Provisions of Oxford 
was submitted to the arbitration of the king of France. 

[a.d. 1264.] Immediately after Christmas, and before the 
award of the king of France was published, Edward, the 


eldest son of the king of England, having assembled a 
numerous army, set to work in burning and j)lundering the 
country, being joined by many powerful men, who had pre- 
viously espoused the cause of the barons. The king of 
France decided by his award that the king of England was 
released from his obligation to observe the Provisions of 
Oxford, already referred to. War then immediately broke 
out in all parts of England, the royalists, lamentably, rushing 
to arms against tlie barons, and the barons against the 
royalists. The king of England, with his brother, the king of 
Germany, and his eldest son, Edward, took Northampton, 
although it was garrisoned with a large force. On the 
Saturday before our Lord's Passion [13th April] the barons, 
joined by the Londoners, forced the troops who held the 
citadel of Pochester, who came out to fight them, to retreat 
within the tower, leaving several of their comrades dead. 
The barons and Londoners plundered the Jewry, and many 
of the Jews were slain. 

After many sad losses on the one side and the other, the two 
kings fought a rather severe battle'with the barons at Lewes,^ on 
the second of the ides of May [14th May], in which the barons 
gained the victory. Although they took the king of Eng- 
land, they did not treat him as a captive ; but, keeping him 
in custody, paid him courtly observance as their sovereign. 
Tlie king of Germany they carried off as prisoner. Edward 
gave himself up as a hostage to procure the release of his 
father and uncle ; and they swore to observe all the 
Provisions of Oxford before mentioned. Thenceforth the 
king went where the barons went, and did exactly, and with- 
out opposition, wliat it was their will he should do. Peace 
was j>roclaimed througliout the country by a royal edict. 
The queen of England, who was in foreign parts, was much 
distressed when she heard the state of affairs; and taking 
into ])ay an immense army, meditated the invasion of 
England ; but the sea and the coast being, by order of the 

' The battle was fouglit on the Southdowns upon Phimpton Plain 
and the hci^^hts above Lowes, the castle of Avhich was held by 
the royal forces. Matt. Paris <r\vvs a circumstantial account of the 
battle, and the movements before and after the important victorv, 
whicli tiirew the whole power into the hands of Simon de Montfort 
and the l>arous. 

336 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1264, 1265. 

king and barons, guarded by a powerful armament, the 
enemy were afraid to cross over, and the queen's treasury 
being exhausted, her forces returned home after no little 
toil and disgrace. When this became known, the naval 
armament was withdrawn. 

Memorandum — that if the sea had not been thus guarded, 
E norland would have fallen into the hands of foreio^ners. 
Memorandum also, — that all the boroughs and vills, as 
well as both the rural and regular clergy, were taxed accord- 
ing to tlieir means to furnish for the sea-guard, both fighting 
men, and the expenses of maintaining them as long as they 
were employed in the service. 

A comet was visible in the eastern quarter of the heavens 
before day break throughout the month of August. It was 
of a dull hue, and the direction of its tail was southward. 

Guy, bishop of Sabina, a cardinal, and legate of the 
apostolic see, came into France, and wished to pass into 
England ; but, as the barons supposed that he was come in 
the interest of the king and queen, he was not allowed to set 
foot in England. [Pope] Urban [IV.] died at Perugio on 
the calends [the 1st] of October, and the see remained 
vacant four months. 

[a.D. 1265.] Gruy, cardinal-bishop of Sabina, formerly 
bishop of Narbonne, and now legate of the apostolic see, was 
made pope on the nones [the 5th] of February, and took 
the name of Clement [IV.]. Gilbert de Clare, earl of 
Gloucester, and some others who joined him, abandoned 
the party of the earl of Leicester for various reasons ; but 
chiefly because they had not their share of the castles and 
domains, which were partitioned out after the battle of 
Lewes, allotted to them in fair proportion to their cost 
and exertions. Charles, count of Anjou, was elected king 
of Sicily and Apulia ; being also raised to the dignity of 
senator of Rome, he made his entry into that city on Whit- 
sun eve £23rd May]. 

At this time, Edward, son of the king of England, being 
released from prison, was led about with the king by the 
earl of Montfort wherever he went. At length they came to 
Hereford, where Edward, escaping from the custody of the 
before-mentioned earl, joined the earl of Gloucester and the 
lords-marchers, who were close at hand, on the fifth of the 

A.D. 12Gj.J the barons' wars. 337 

calcuds of June [the 28tli May] ; the king and the earl of 
Leicester being detained on the borders of Wales in great 
straits and necessities, because the earl of Gloucester and 
his i)arty would not allow them to go towards England. 
Meanwhile, Symon de Montfort, the son of the earl of 
Leicester, having entered Winchester by surprise, about the 
feast of St. Swithun, carried off from thence a large sum of 
money and much booty ; and soon afterwards, this Symon, 
earl of Oxford, the son of the earl of Leicester, William de 
Montchesney, and divers other nobles joined their forces at 
Kenilworth, which they proposed to garrison for the earl of 
Leicester. However, Edward and the earl of Gloucester, with 
their adherents, falling upon them by surprise, when they 
were at their ease and unarmed, made them prisoners, 
stripping them of all they had, and placing them in custody 
in clifferent parts of England. 

Battle of Evesham. 

While these events were passing, and in ignorance of what 
was going on, Symon, earl of Leicester, and his partisans, 
having the king with them, crossed the river Severn and 
pushed forward as far as Evesham. They were pursued by 
Edward and Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, and the 
lords marchers, with a large body of their followers, whc 
gave them battle on Tuesday the second of the nones [the 
4th] of August just outside the town of Evesham.^ In this 
battle fell the earl of Leicester, his eldest son Henry, Hugh 
Despencer, and nearly all the other barons who were on the 
king's side. The Welsh and the rest of the fugitives, who 
fled for refuge to the abbey, were horribly massacred, both 
within and without the church ; the king and the royal 
attendants, were captured, with their free goodwill. On the 
same day, about the third liour, there fell such a storm of 
rain, accompanied by thunder and lightning, and the dark- 
ness was so great, that at the dinner hour they could scarcely 
see what was set before them for the repast. 

' Seo tlio details connected with tlic battle of Evesham in Matt. 
Paris, vol. iii., p. 354. 


A JParliament at Winchester, 

After this battle, the king collected his household, as if he 
had never been in custody, making it much more numerous 
than before ; and, proclaiming peace, summoned his parliament 
to meet at Winchester, on the Nativity of St. Mary [8th Sep- 
tember]. In this parliament, both the father and his son, 
and the other courtiers, extorted large sums of money from 
nearly all the prelates in England ; of whidh they got almost 
eight hundred marks from the church of St. Edmund the 

[Of this sum the convent paid one half ; but very unwil- 
lingly, because their tenants, as well as those of the abbot, 
were then with the troops guarding the sea-coast, to prevent 
the queen and her army from invading England. But only 
the abbot's share was claimed on default in the king's court ; 
and the convent were deeply aggrieved at this apportionment 
of the subsidy on this account, and because it might be made 
a precedent thereafter.] 

The parliament was prorogued to the feast of Michaelmas, 
to be then held at Windsor ; from whence some persons about 
the court were despatched to London, Avho, under colour of 
smooth words, proposing a treaty with the king, which was 
rather a treachery,^ prevailed on the mayor and a great num- 
ber of the citizens to accompany them to Windsor. On 
arriving there, they were immediately seized and thrown into 
prison ; the defences of the city were occupied by royal 
troops, who entirely demolishing the barriers and iron chains 
•with which all the streets and courts of the city were wonder- 
fully fortified, reduced it to subjection to the king ; and many 
of the citizens, having disinherited the rest, ransomed them- 
selves for twenty thousand marks. 

The king disposed at his pleasure, both among the English 
and aliens, of all the lands and possessions of those who had 
been in arms against him at the battles of Lewes and Eve- 
sham, or were found at Northampton and Kenilworth, except 
the lands of Gilbert de Clare, carl of Gloucester ; such being 
the king's policy, although there were some who did not 
concur in it. The castle of Dover was restored to [prince] 
^ Foidus federanteSj immo fcedantes. 


Edward ; and after that, queen Eleanor, with her sou Edmund, 
landed in England on the fourth of the calends of November 
[29th October]. At the same time Ottoboni, cardinal-deacon 
of St. Adrian, the legato of the apostolic see, came to England. 
Having summoned all the prelates of England, he held ii 
council at the New Temple, about the feast of St. Nicholas 
[Gth Uecember], in which he published a sentence of excom- 
munication against Symon de Montfort, earl of Leicester, and 
all liis abettors and partisans. This Symon, earl of Leicester, 
as numbers asserted, wrought many shining mu'acles. 

The same year, on Thursday night, being Christmas-eve, 
about midnight, there was a total eclipse of the moon, -which 
became of a red colour ; it lasted three hours of the night, 
the sun being in the head, the moon in the tail of the Dragon. 
It occurred in the year 6G4 of the Hejira, and on the fifteenth 
day of the third month, according to the Arabian reckoning. 
That year, among the Arabs, commenced on Monday the 
fourth of the ides [the 12th] of October. 

Symon, the son of the earl of Leicester, after the battle of 
Evesham, withdrew from the castle of Kenilworth, with some 
others who were outlawed, to the island of Axholm, which 
coming to the king's ears, he caused the island to be sur- 
rounded by a numerous body of troops. Symon therefore 
and his companions, finding that if they resisted they should 
be soon taken, pledged themselves to peace with the king, 
Symon being detained in [prince] Edward's custody. More- 
over, Symon and those who were with him obtained the grace 
of absolution from the legate. 

[a.d. 12G6.] After Christmas, Symon the younger escaped 
from the custody of Edward at London, and hurried over to 
Erance. A number of the outlaws seized the castle of Kenil- 
worth, and, carefully fortifying it, ravaged from thence the 
country round. Many of them also who had concealed them- 
selves at St. Edmund's, marched out of the town in great 
array on the morrow of Palm-Sunday, and seizing the moor- 
lands, pushed their attack as far as Lynn, in Easter-week, but 
the townsmen making a stout resistance, they retired after a 
fruitless assault. On Whitsun-eve [15th May], when the 
outlaws had collected in the town of Chesterfield, and having 
no apprehensions, some were scattered about, and others gone 
out to hunt, the roval troops came on them suddenlv, and 

X 2 


attacking them, slew some, took others, and routing the rest, 
retired victorious with a great booty. Meanwhile, the rest 
of the outlaws again drawing together in bands in many 
quarters, established themselves in fastnesses in the thickest 
parts of the woods, and it was worse to fall in with them than 
with a bear that has lost its whelps ; for they ravaged the 
whole country round for all they wanted. 

It happened this year that on the sixth of the calends of 
June [27th May], John, earl Warrenne, and William de 
Valence, the king's brother, came unexpectedly to St. Ed- 
mund's with a crowd of followers, for the purpose of searching 
out the king's enemies. Eudely summoning before them 
the abbot and the burgesses of the town, they charged them 
with favouring the king's enemies, inasmuch as the outlawed 
barons stored and sold there the fruits of their ravages and 
robberies, without any impediment. The abbot having made 
a sufficient reply on behalf of himself and the convent, the 
king's inquisitors threw the whole weight of the charge on 
the burgesses, who, answering unadvisedly and without the 
abbot's counsel, admitted their guilt by their own words. 

There was also at that time a quarrel between the abbot 
and convent and the burgesses, in consequence of the bur- 
gesses having for a long time been rebellious against them and 
their bailiff. But as they were now forced to purchase peace 
with money, and this they could not accomplish without being 
assisted by the counsels of the abbot and convent, they pite- 
ously entreated that the money might be paid to the royal 
commissioners through the mediation of the monks, and so 
their liberties and those of the convent might be preserved 
intact ; and this was done, for the burgesses paid down to 
the king two hundred marks, and promised to pay the abbot 
and convent one hundred pounds. 

About the feast of St. John the Baptist [24th June], the 
king lai4 siege to the castle of Kenilworth ; besides which, the 
iegare, having in the first place sent them admonition, excom- 
municated the besieged and their accomplices. The besieged 
however manfully resisted the royal troops, and caused them 
severe losses. At last, a truce was agreed on between the 
king and the besieged, from the feast of St. Martin [11th 
November] for forty days thence ensuing ; during which period 
many of those who were shut up in the castle perished from 


drinking poisoned liquids. Provisions likewise began to fail, 
and their wants were well known to the royalists ; for there 
was some among them who favoured the king's party, and 
informed them of their designs by private signals, so that they 
would never sally out against the royal forces as they Avished 
and miglit have done. These traitors were however convicted 
and hung in the fortress. On the eve of St. Lucia [12th 
December], the castle of Kenil worth was surrendered to the 

Meanwhile the king, in the presence of the legate and sur- 
rounded by many of the nobles and prelates of England, 
exhibited the indulgence of our lord the pope, in which it was 
contained that the pope had granted to the king, for three 
years, the tenth of all ecclesiastical revenues in England, ac- 
cording to tlio real value, except the property of the Hos- 
pitallers, Templars, and Cistercians. 

Moreover, during the truce, twelve men of rank were 
chosen, clerks as well as laymen, who should make provision 
respecting tlie rebels taken in battle, and in ])rison or besieged, 
in the manner following, that is to say: that some should for- 
feit their lands for one year, others for two years, some for 
three, many for four, very many for five, and in extreme cases 
for seven years ; and that each should pay the king within the 
next three years the value of the land for seven years ; and if 
they wcrc able within the next three days to discharge the 
third part of the aforesaid tax, they should be put in possession 
of one third part of their lands ; if they should pay a moiety 
of the aforesaid charge, tliey should ha\'c lialf their lands ; if 
they should pay the wdiole, they sliould recover their lands 
entire ; but if within the said three years they should not dis- 
charge the whole assessment, they should be for ever disin- 
herited. According to this statute, the barons wlio were 
taken at Kenilworth before the battle of Evesham, as well as 
those who were taken in that battle and those who wore be- 
sieged in the castle of Kenilworth, were allowed to depart 

The Isle of Ely tahen hi/ the Outlaios, 

On the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of August, the outlaws, 
who, as it has been related, lurked in the woods, ajtproacliing 
cautiously, seized the isle of Ely, of which the bishop kad before 

342 FLORENCE OF Vv'ORCESTBR. [a.D. 1266-7. 

undertaken the custody in the king's presence ; but after 
tliis mishap he retired from it, and suspended the island. The 
rebels plundered the whole country round, and, pushing for- 
ward, took the town of Norwich on the seventeenth of the 
calends of January [16th December], and carried off with 
them, as it is reported, seven cart-loads or waggon-loads of 

A Parliament held at Bury. 

[a.d. 1267.] On the eighth of the ides [the 6th] of 
^February, being the Sunday after the Purification, the king 
arrived at St. Edmund's, and on the day following Ottoboni, 
the legate, also came there ; all the prelates and barons of the 
realm having been convoked to meet at this place by a 
summons from both. The legate of St. Peter in Cathedra, 
holding this council, the rebels in possession of the isle of 
Ely, with their accomplices and abettors, having been pre- 
monished, were publicly excommunicated, in the king's pre- 
sence, unless they submitted to the royal clemency within 
fifteen days afterwards. On the next night following some 
dark rumours so alarmed the legate and his attendants, that 
he was induced unexpectedly to take his departure for 
London on the morrow, on which day the king, also leaving 
the town of St. Edmund the Martyr, encamped with his army 
at Cambridge, where he passed the whole Lent-fast in forming 
schemes for the blockade of Ely ; meanwhile it turned out 
that the siege came to nothing. 

Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, entered London with a nu- 
merous retinue, on the eve of Palm Sunday [9th April], and 
immediately took possession of the defences of the city, with 
the citizens' consent. He also cut off from the legate, wdio 
was in the Tower, all egress towards the city. The king, 
presently hearing of this, left the blockade of Ely, and betook 
himself to Stratford, after the octave of Easter, to lay siege to 
London ; and the count of St. Pol, the count of Boulogne, 
and the count of Guisnes met him there, with a host of 
their retainers, to aid the king with all their might. 

In this state of affairs, overtures were made for the restora- 
tion of peace between the king and the earl, through some 
persons who carefully mediated between them, and, about 
the feast of St. John the Baptist, the peace was renewed ; 

A.D. 12G7-8.] MONTFORT IlESTORED. 343 

the carl swearing on the altar of St. Paul's, in the legate's 
presence, that he would never bear arms against his lord the 
kmg, except in self-defence. To the Londoners of the earl's 
parry the king promised security for life and limbs, and others 
M'lio had lent their aid to the earl were admitted to pardon 
on the terms before stated witli respect to Kenilworth. This 
being settled, the king made his entry into London on the 
fourteenth of the calends of July [18th Juno], no one who 
Avas not a citizen being allowed to remain in the city beyond 
the space of three days. 

Some ruffians, sallying forth from their stronghold at Ely, 
seized tlie horses belonging to certain persons, which were 
concealed in the inner court of the abbey of St. Edmund the 
niartyr, and, leading them through the midst of the infirmary, 
carried them oti' to the island. A monk of tliat house havino: 
pursued them made a clear statement of the facts to the 
authorities in the island. At last, the islanders, accepting his 
statement, left the aforesaid ruffians and the horses to the 

judgment of the monk. As for the horses ^ when 

[]tlie ruthans] had offi3red tlie swords whicli they had irreve- 
rently drawn against the liberties of St. Edmund, the Martyr, 
upon the altar of the saint, in token of their presumption. 

Edward, the king's eldest son, gained an entrance into the 
isle of Ely, under the guidance of some of the islanders, on 
the fifLli of the ides [the 11th] of July, and it was immediately 
surrendered to him, the rebels being pardoned on the terms 
Ijefore stated with respect to Kenilworth. 

[a.d. 12G8.] The city of Antioch was taken by the sultan 
of Babylon, on Ascension day, which fell on the sixteenth of 
the calends of June [17th May], through the treachery of the 
Jews wlio dwelt there. 

The legate Ottoboni held a council at London, after Easter 
Sunday [8th A})ril], on which was chanted the gospel, " I am 
the good sliepherd." In this council he absolved Symon de 
Montlbrt, carl of Leicester, and the others whom he had ex- 
communicated, on account of tlie insurrection already men- 
tioned. He held another council at Northampton, where the 
king Avas holding a parliament of his barons. In this council 
prince Edward, and Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, with a number 

' Here the text is defective. 


of other nobles,^ took the cross at the legate's hands. The 
council being ended, he earnestly solicited leave to return 
home ; and, embarking on the third of the ides [the 13th] of 
July, crossed the sea. 

Charles, king of Sicily, and his brother, the king of France^, 
fought a battle with Conrad, at Benevento, and gained the 
victory, on St. Bartholomew's eve. In this engagement 
Conrad had sixteen thousand men in armour, and Charles 
seven thousand. 

General Taxation of the Clergy. 

This year the clergy were enjoined, by royal authority, in 
all the dioceses of England, to tax the property, both temporal 
and spiritual, of all the clergy of England, except the pos- 
sessions of the Templars and Cistercians, at its real value,, 
according to the valuation of persons of the lower order, called 
in for the purpose. This being done, all the bishops com- 
pounded with the king, each for his own see. When, however, 
the bishop of Norwich came to compound with the king in 
respect of his bishopric for the tenths of two entire years, he 
included in his agreement the lands of St. Edmund the 
Martyr, having first consulted the abbot and convent on the 
subject ; and, although this appeared to be contrary to the 
liberties of the said monastery, nevertheless, on account of the 
further time they might gain, and also because they could 
deal better with the bishop's collectors than with the king's, 
they preferred accounting with the episcopal rather than with 
the royal officers ; and, although the clergy were only answer- 
able for the tenths of two years, as they had already dis- 
charged them for the first year, nevertheless they voluntarily 
offered the bishop to pay him also the tenths for the third 
year, besides those of the second year already granted, on 
condition, however, that they should discharge their tenths 
according to the taxation made by Walter, late bishop of 
Norwich ; which was done. In consequence of this arrange- 
ment, the convent of St. Edmund's accounted triennially for 
the tenths of their property before taxed by the said bishop, 
and paid them to the bishop. But as to the rest of their 
goods, which had never been taxed by bishop Walter, they 

^ Edmund, the king's younger son, was included in the number. 


also paid the tenths of them to the king every two years, 
according to tlie taxation of the aforesaid clerks. 

On the feast of the apostles Simon and Jude [28th October], 
in the present year, the fifty-second year of the reign of king 
Henry, son of king John, was completed. 

Pope Clement [IV.] died on St. Andrew's eve, and the see 
remained vacant two years .... months,^ three week;^, and 
four days. 

[a.d. 12G0.] Edmund, son of king Henry, married the 
daughter and lieiress of the count of Aumale, the marriage 
being celebrated at Westminster, in the presence of the king, 
on the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of April. 

There was a quarrel between Edward, the king's son, and 
Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, on account of the too great 
intimacy wliich Edward was said to have indulged towards 
the earl's wife. 

The earl of Gloucester arrested, at Cardiff, a caitiff who had 
attempted to poison him. 

King Henry transferred the relics of St. Edmund into a 
new shrine, which he had caused to be constructed, ot" 
admirable workmanship, depositing them in tlieir new recep- 
tacle on the day of the saint's Translation [18th February]. 

The king required the clergy to advance the tenths for the 
fourth year to come ; against whicli the clergy generally made 
an appeal, as the bishops were unwilling to do so. 

[Prince] Edward and the earl of Gloucester were made 
friends, through the intervention of many of the nobles. 
Edward having crossed the sea to confer with the king of 
France touching the affair of their expedition to the Holy 
Land, they came, it is reported, to the following agreement : 
viz., that tlie king of France should lend tlie lord Edward 
seventy tliousand marks, on the security of all Edward's 
domains over sea ; and that if this sum were not paid within 
three years, the lands aforesaid should belong for ever to the 
king of France ; and that, as he was to accompany the king 
to tiie Holy Land, he should render liim fealty as one of his- 
own barons. Edward sent his son Henry as a hostage for the 
performance of tliis agreement, but, for some reason wliich is- 
unknown, he was immediately sent back. 

' There is a blank in the MS. Trivet says the sec was vacant three- 
years two months and ten days. 

346 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1269-70. 

The city of Nocera vras surrendered to Charles, king of 
Sicily, on St. Bartholomew's eve [23rd August], Three 
thousand Saracens were there put to death, the rest of the 
people in the city being spared, and subjected to tribute. 
The justices in eyre in ]!^orfolk and Suffolk were Nicholas de 
Turri, Henry de Montfort, and Henry de Wihamton. 

[a.D. 1270]. On the eve of Palm Sunday, and on the 
day of that feast [5th and 6th April], the Christians and 
Pagans had an engagement between Acre and Saphran, in 
■which, after eight emirs and eighteen troops of Pagans had 
been put to the sword, the Pagans gained the victory, 
although not without great loss on their side. The Christians 
were nearly all killed ; and this happened through the insub- 
ordination of the Temj^lars. Here also fell the flower of 
knighthood, John de Merlawe, a brother of the Hospital. 

Lewis of France embarks for the Holy Land. 

Lewis, king of France, commenced his journey to the Holy 
Land on the seventeenth of the calends of April [16th March] ; 
and embarked on the Mediterranean Sea at Aigues-Mortes^ 
on the feast of St. James [25th July]. Earl Warrenne 
assaulted the lord Alan de Zouche in Westminster-hall, on 
the bench before the justiciary, on the octave of St. John 
|]lst July], and so severely wounded him, that he died on 
the feast of St. Lawrence [10th August]. His eldest son 
Hoger had recourse to flight, but narrowly escaped. 

Eleanor, wife of the lord Edward, the king's eldest son, gave 
birth to a daughter at Windsor, and called her Eleanor. 
Ploger Bigod, earl of Norfolk and Suffolk, marshal of England, 
died at Cuhahe, on the feast of the Translation of St. Martin 
[4th July]. He was buried at Monks-Thetford, on the eve 
of the Translation of St. Benedict, and dying Avithout issue 
had for successor in his inheritance and honours, Roger, son 
of Hugh Bigod, the brother of the deceased. 

Prince Edtcard departs for the Holy Land. 

Edward, the eldest son of the king of England, Henry 

of Almaine, and some others of the English nobles, set sail 

' Aquam mortuam ; Aig'ues-Mortes, a toAvn still retainins: its ancient 
fortifications, between Aries and Montpelier, in the delta of the Rhone, 
joommunicating with the Mediterranean by one of the numerous streams 
which intersect the marshes. 

A.D. 1270-71.] rnixcE Edward's crusade. 3-17 

from Dover on the morrow of St. Lawrence [lltli August], 
on their way to tlie Holy Land, throuGfh Gascony. On 
JNIichaehnas clay they embarked on the Mediterranean Sea, 
and in company witli the kings of France and Italy, and 
some nobles of both those countries, instead of making* a 
direct course, sailed towards Africa, and entered the terri- 
tories of the king of Tunis, where the ancient and celebrated 
city of Carthage stood ; and entering into treaty with this 
pagan king, concluded a truce with him for fifteen months. 
The lord Edward, departing from Africa, spent some time in 
Italy. Lewis IX., king of Fi'ance, died during the expedition, 
leaving his son Philip his heir. He was buried at St. Denis. 

Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, died at Baleys, his 
country seat, on the fifteenth of the calends of August [18th 
July], and Adam de Chittenden, prior of that place, and a 
native of Kent, was elected his successor. The king and 
his eldest son opposing his appointment, he was compelled 
to resort to the court of Rome. Guy de Montfort married 
at Yiterbo the daughter and heiress of count di Ruvo,^ on the 
feast of St. Lawrence [10th August]. Adam de Wich, abbot 
of Waltham, died on St. Lambert's day [17th September], 
and was buried at Waltham on the morrow. The moon was 
eclipsed on the night preceding the first of October. 

[a.d. 1271]. Walter Delaville, bishop of Salisbury, died 
on the octave of the Epiphany [13th January]. He was 
succeeded by Robert, the dean of that church, who was con- 
firmed by the chapter there, the see of Canterbury being then 
void. Edmund, son of the king of England,^ crossed the 
sea to visit the Holy Places and his eldest brother. On the 
fifth of the calends of February [28th January], the tower 
of the church of St. INIary-at-Bow, in London, fell, and 
crushed to death numbers who were in the church at the time. 

Henry, the eldest son of the king of Germany, passing- 
through Viterbo, on his way from Africa, was cruelly nnu'dered 
while devoutly attending divine service in the church of St. 
Silvester in that city, by the lords Simon and G. de Montfort, 
count di Ruvo, and several others, who joined in the attack, 

' Jiubeiy now Ruvo, a town in Apulia, near Bari. He was of the 
Ahlobrandini family. 
- Karl of Leicester and Lancaster. 


on the morrow of St. Gregory [13tli March]. His attendants 
brought his remains to England, and buried them at Hayles 
on the twelfth of the calends of June [21st May]. 

A divorce was pronounced at Norwich on the fifteenth of 
the calends of August [18th July], between Gilbert, Earl of 
Gloucester, and the countess Alice, his wife. On the sixth 
of the ides [the 8th] of August, the lord John of Win- 
chester, eldest son of the lord. Edward, the eldest son of 
Henry, king of England, was brought to Westminster for 

Philip [III.], king of France, was crowned at Eheims on 
the feast of the Decollation of St. John the Baptist [29th 
August]. On the twelfth of the calends of December [20th 
November], a son was born to Henry de Lacy, earl of Lin- 
coln, whom he caused to be named Edmund, after St. Edmund. 

About the hour of vespers, on the third of the ides [the 
11th] of September, such violent rain fell suddenly at Can- 
terbury over the city and adjacent country, that the greatest 
part of the city was suddenly inundated ; and the storm of 
rain continued until the first hour of the ensuing day. 

On the calends [the 1st] of September, Theobald, arch- 
deacon of Liege, who was then in the service of the lord 
Edward, eldest son of the king of England, in the parts of 
Acre, was elected pope, and took the name of Gregory X. 
Before his election, the see remained void two years, nine 
months, three weeks, and four days. 

The lord Philip Basset died at Weldon on the eve of All 
Saints [31st October]. Eulk, archbishop of Dublin, also 

[a.D. 1272.] Theobald, archbishop of Liege, who v/as a 
native of Piacenza, lately elected the successor of St. Peter, 
was consecrated priest on the eve of St. Cuthbert [19th 
March], and on the morrow, being Sunday, that is the second 
in Lent, he was raised to the summit of the priesthood, 
being solemnly consecrated to the papal see by the name of 
Gregory X. 

Death of Micliard, Earl of Cormuall and King of Germany. 

Bichard, king of Germany, departed this life at Berkhamp- 
stead on the fourth of the nones [the 2nd] of April, and 


was buried at the monastery of Hayles/ which he had himself 
founded and endowed with large possessions ; his obsequies 
behig i)erfornied there with great solemnity on the ides ftlie 
13tli] of April. 

A destructive Fire and great lliots at Nonvich. 

At Xorwich, on the feast of the apostles Peter and Paul, 
while the monks were at primes, the great tower of the 
church was suddenly struck by a thunderbolt on the north side, 
with such violence that some of the stones were torn away, 
and carried with great force to a considerable distance ; an 
occurrence wliich must have been considered deeply portentous 
by all the sons of holy mother church. 

On the morrow of St. Lawrence [11th August], after 
having made some frequent assaults on the priory [at Nor- 
wich], after the gates of the convent had been violently broken 
down by the enemies of the monks, and after they had suffered 
other enormous injuries, just as they had taken their refection, 
their holy mother church was entered by the foulest rabble of 
her sons, namely, the whole commonalty of the city of Nor- 
wich, to the number, it is believed, of thirty-two thousand, 
all strongly armed. Joined by the women of the city, they 
set fire to the i)riory in several places, and reduced the whole 
of it to ashes, together with the church, although it was built 
of stone; three or four buildings only, not worth mentioning, 
escaped, and nearly all the monks were forced to make then- 
escape. Thirty of their servitors, or thereabout, were also 
put to death with various kinds of torture, and that in the 
very bosom of their mother. Dragging others from the same 
place, as from a mother's breasts, they In-onght tliem before 
their own tribunal, and condemned them to the same fate, 
sparing neither age nor rank. They also tore in pieces, or 
plundered and carried off, all tlie \aluables in the treasury, 
the vestry, the refectory, and the other offices of the church, 
and tlie almonry. The monks, escaping privately, one by 
one, with great difficulty saved their lives. 

In consequence of this, there was a convocation of the 
whole diocese at Eyam on the feast of the Decollation of St. 

^ * Ilavlos, in his oarldom of Cornwall, whore \vv have just seen that 
his eldest sou lieury was buried eleven months before. 


John the Baptist [29th August], at which the bishop and all 
the assembled clergy publicly and solemnly issued the sen- 
tence of excommunication, with the ringing of bells and 
lighted candles, against the perpetrators of this outrage, as 
well as all who gave their countenance, aid, or advice, or had 
any communication with them in any matter of business. 
This sentence was renewed and confirmed in a council of the 
bishops held at London on St. Luke's day [18th October], and 
the king going towards the neighbourhood of Norwich, in 
order to take condign punishment on the heinous culprits, 
arrived at St. Edmund's on St. Griles's day [1st September], 
and summoned aU the peers and barons of England to meet 
him there and consult on the business. Having stayed at the 
abbey eleven days, on the feast of SS. Proteus and Tacinthus, 
he set forth towards Norwich to take vengeance for the 
enormous crime ; but he abated somewhat of its fulness. 
For out of the vast multitude, only four men and one woman 
paid the forfeit of their lives for the rest, some of whom were 
eased of their purses by the courtiers. Of those who suiFered, 
some were drawn asunder in the streets of the city, some 
burnt, and others hung. 

Edmund of Almaine, earl of Cornwall, was married to 
Margaret, sister of Gilbert, earl of Gloucester, on the morrow 
of St. Faith [6tli October], and was knighted, as well as 
Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, on the feast of the Transla- 
tion of St. Edw-ard [13th October], Adam de Chillenden, 
the archbishop-elect of Canterbury, who sued in the court of 
Eome for his confirmation in that preferment, perceiving that 
from the influence of his determined rivals he made little 
progress in the affair, and that even if he persisted, he should 
be nonsuited, a result which would attach no small disgrace 
to his name, he gave in his resignation both of the election 
and dignity. Thereupon, the pope, by his apostolical autho- 
rity, substituted for him friar Robert de Kilwardby, prior 
provincial of the order of friars-preachers in England. 

On the feast of St. Calixtus [14th October], the king gave 
the Jews' synagogue, in the city of London, to the friars- 
penitents of Jesus Christ; which building, to add to the 
mortification of the Jews, was consecrated by one of the' 
bishops called in for that purpose. 

A.D. 1272-3.] ACCESSION OF EDWARD I. 351 

Death of King Henry III. 

Henry, king of England, of happy memory, son of king- 
Jolin, after a reign of fifty-six years and twenty-nine days, 
ended his days at Westminster,^ on the feast of St. Edmund, 
arehbishop of Canterbury [IGthXovember], his eldest son Ed- 
ward being then beyond sea ; and on the day of St. Edmund, 
king and martyr, next following [20th November], ho wa.s 
honourably interred there. And because, as we have jusfc 
said, the lord Edward was tlien in distant parts, the earls, 
Edmund of Cornwall and Gilbert of Gloucester, were by 
common consent of the nobles appointed regents, and con- 
servators of the peace, until the lord Edward's arrival. 

Eleanor, the wife of the lord Edward, bore a son at Acre, 
who was named John. Ednunid, the son of the king of 
England, returned from the Holy Land, leaving in those 
parts his brother Edward, who had recently received a wound 
which nearly caused his death, from some secret assassin;*^ 
but through Him who has respect unto the humble, he was 
perfectly restored to health in a short time. This happened 
on St. Botolph's day [17th June]. Roger, abbot of St. 
Augustine's, closed his days on the ides [the 13tli] of De- 
cember. The pope held a general council, two years after the 
la-st, in the beginning of the calends of May [lltli April]. 

Violent Rains and Inundations, 

[a.d. 1273.] March was very windy, and more rainy than 
it had been in any man's memory. Especially on the last day 
of the month, the third of the calends of April [30th March] 
the rain continuing for nearly a night and a day, caused in- 
undations which almost equalled those of the year 1258; 
while in some parts of England they appear to have exceeded 
in violence those of the former year, for they rose five feet 
above the bridge at Cambridge. Likewise at Norwich, their 
ravages were such that neither its being sacked by the islander.-, 

' Matt. Paris concludes his history with the death and some account 
of the character of Henry III. He relates that he was taken ill at 
Bury, and died there. It is singular that our continuator, who appears 
to have hecn a monk of that ahhey, and mentions the king's coming 
there just previously, should have^)mitted the details given by Malt. 
I'ai-is ; and he states that the king died at Westminster. 

^ See Matt. Paris, vol. iii., p. 378. 


nor the recent proceedings of the royalists, caused so much 
disaster to the phace. 

The lord Edward having been met by the cardinals at 
Orvietto, five stages from Kome, on St. Yalentine's day, was 
received by the pope and the whole people [of Eome] wdth 
extraordinary honours. Count di Euvo cleared himself of 
the murder of the lord Henry of Almaine before the lord pope, 
and the lord Edward and a large body of knights, by taking 
an oath that he was not privy to his assassination. The pope 
granted to the lord Edward the tenth of all ecclesiastical 
revenues, both temporal and spiritual, for one year, and 
another year's tenth to his brother ; in recompense of the 
expenses they had incurred in the Holy Land. 

Master Eaymond de Nogeres, prior of St. Caprais at Agen, 
came into England to execute this business. Wherefore the 
convent of St. Edmund's compounded for the tenth of all 
their property, jointly wdth the abbot, for one year at one 
hundred pounds, and in like manner for the second year the 
abbot paid fifty marks, and the convent one hundred marks 
of their proper nionies; Avith the addition of the tenths of 
spirituals as regarded the convent for the first year, but not 
for the second. 

Adam, who had been archbishop elect of Canterbury, 
returned to England, and was reinstated in his priory. 

Story of an Evil Spirit. 

An evil spirit caused great alarm at a vill called Trouvllle, 
in the district of Rouen, by audibly rapping with hammers 
on the walls and doors. He spoke with a human voice, 
.although he was never visible, and his name, he said, was 
William Ardent. He frequented the house of a certain worthy 
man, to whom he did much mischief, as well as to his wife 
and family ; and the sign of the cross and the sprinkling of 
holy water failed to drive him away. Moreover, when the 
priests conjured him, in the name of the Lord, to quit the 
place, he answered: *'I shall not depart; nay more, if I 
please, I shall kill you all. The cross I know^ well enough, 
and as for your holy water, I have no fear of that." This 
spirit haunted the manor and mansion of the persons just 
mentioned, from the feast of All Saints [1st November] until 
after the Purification [2nd February], uttering many lasci- 

A.D. 1273, 1274.] coixciL at lyons. 353 

vious and scoffing speeches. At last he went away at Septua- 
ge-sima, sayinf,' that ]ie sliould return at Easter, which he 
never did. 

Henry de Sandwicli, bishop of London, ended his days at 
his manor of Ilornsey, after being in tlie greatest straits during 
the whole time of his episcopacy, on the octave of the Nativity 
of St. Mary [15th September] ; and was succeeded by master 
John de Chishull, the dean of that cliurch, wlio was elected 
on tiie morrow of St. Nicholas [7th December]. 

Our lord the pope came to Lyons on tlie eleventh of the 
<?alends of December [21st November]. Henry de Beaune, 
prior of Ely, died on Christmas day, and was succeeded by 
Jolm de Homingstone, a monk of the same cloistered house. 
A son was born to the lord Edward, at Beaune in G-ascony, 
on the night following the feast of St. Clement [24th No- 
vember] ; to wliom ho gave the name of Alphonso, after the 
king of Spain, St, James,i and Portugal. Bodolph, count of 
Hapsburgh, was elected king of Germany. 

[a.d. 1274.] The pope held a council at Lyons, which 
lasted from the feast of the apostles Philip and James [1st 
May], until the sixteenth of the calends of August [17th 
July]. In tliis council a grant of tenths was made, for the 
succour of the Holy Land, from all ecclesiastical persons of 
whatever condition, rank, or order, out of all their rents, 
fruits, and ecclesiastical revenues. 

Piobert, bishop of Durham, Lawrence, bishop of Bochester, 
and William, bishop of Bath and Wells, died. Kobert de 
Halihmd, a monk of that church, and prior of Finchale, suc- 
-ceeded to Durham ; the lord Walter de Merton,=^ the king's 
oliancellor, was preferred to the see of Bochester, and the lord 
Bobert Burnel to that of Batli and Wells. Adam de Chil- 
lenden, the prior, and formerly archbi.^hop-elcct, of Can- 
terbury, also died. The lord Henry, son of the lord Edward, 
and Eveline, the wife of the lord Edmund the king's son, 
iind countess of Aumale, were buried at Westminster on 
the tliirteenth of the calends of November [20th October]. 

Coronation of Edward L 
The lord Edward, the eldest son of the king of England, 

' Galicia ? 

2 Walter de Morton, the founder of Morton College. 

354 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1274, 1275. 

having settled lils long-pending differences with the countess 
of Flanders, came over to England and landed at Dover on 
the morrow of St. Peter ad Yincula ; and on the feast of St, 
Magnus, the Martyr, [19th August,] next following, was 
solemnly crowned king of England by Eobert, archbishop of 
Canterbury, his wife Eleanor being crowned at the same time. 
The kino; of France married the daughter of the duke of Bur- 
gundy, reciprocally giving his sister in marriage to that 

[a.D. 1275.] Eleanor, queen of England, the king's wife, 
gave birth to a daughter, who was named Margaret, and born 
at Windsor. Margaret, queen of Scotland, and Beatrix, 
countess of Brittany, both daughters of king Henry, ended 
their days. 

Our lord the king and queen Eleanor came in pilgrimage 
to St. Edmund's on the fifteenth of the calends of May [I7tk 
April], in performance of a vow they had made in the Holy 
Land ; and the king, with the advice of his council, after 
examining the muniments of the abbey of St. Edmund's, 
granted to the convent the right of freely inspecting weights 
and measures, without any interference of his own officers. 

John, bishop of Hereford, died, and was succeeded by- 
Master John de Canteloupe, a canon of that church. One of 
the order of preachers at London, called friar Eobert of 
Reading, an excellent preacher, and deeply skilled in the 
Hebrew tongue, apostatised, and, being converted to Judaism, 
married a Jewess, was circumcised, and took the name of j 
Haggai. The king having summoned him, and finding him 
argue in public with great boldness against the Christian law, 
turned him over to the archbishop of Canterbury. On the 
third of the ides [the 11th] of September, about the third 
hour, there was a great earthquake at London^ and throughout 
nearly the wdiole of Eno;land. 

The barons of Enoland Q:ranted to the king the fifteentij 
penny. Llewellyn, prince of Wales, revolted against the king 
of England. The Jews throughout the realm were prohibited 
from thereafter lending money upon usury, but they were in 
future to gain their living by commerce, under the same laws, 
in buying and selling as Christian merchants. It was als» 
enacted that each of them, of w^hatever age, condition, or sex^ 
should pay the king annually a capitation tax of three- 

A.D. 1275, 127G.] EDWARD I. AMERCES NORWICH. 355 

pence, and tlmt those wlio woiiM not comply wlzh tliis 
provision should depart from England before Easter next 

Our lord the king pronounced sentence on the burgesses of 
Norwich that, for their profanation of the body of our Lord, 
they should provide at their own cost a pyx of gold, of the 
value of one hundred pounds, to contain the host. Also, 
that for the damage done to the convent, they should contri- 
bute three thousand marks, to be paid within six years. And 
that the bishop, at the expense of the burgesses, should send 
to the court of Kome, jointly with them, and exhibit an 
attestation of the accord thus settled. And that the convent 
might remove their gate to any part they pleased, except the 
water-side, the town continuing, as to the privation of the 
liberties of the burgesses, in the same state in which it was 
on the day of his father's death. 

The prior's chapel [at Bury] was dedicated to the honour of 
SS. Edmund and Stephen, martyrs, by the lord William of 
Ilagusa, archbishop *' Medorum," on holy Innocents' day 
[28th December]. 

The grant of tenths made at the council of Lyons caused 
grievous and intolerable exactions ; for the collectors of these 
tenths were content witli no man's taxation, and even com- 
pelled nearly all and each to declare to them on their own 
word, and upon oath administered to them in person, the true 
value of all their incomes. Wherefore the tenth apportioned 
to the convent of St. Edmund's amounted to two hundred and 
forty-one marks, three shillings, and sixpence, on the oaths 
of five of the monks specially sworn to make a true return. 
The tenth at which the abbot was rated amounted to one 
liundred pounds. The Jews were expelled from Cambridge 
by the queen-mother. The lay-brothers of Furnival, of the 
Cistercian order, killed several of the monks. 
_ [a.d.^ 127G.] The lord Aymer de :Montfort, with his 
sister Eleanor, who was bethrothed to Llewellyn, jn-ince of 
Wales, were captured at sea, on their voyage to Wales, by a 
certain knight called Thomas the Archdeacon, who came on 
them unawares and delivered them to the custody of our lord 
the king. 

Pope Gregory [X.], who had imposed the tenths, was 


356 FLORENCE OP WORCESTER, [a.d. 1276, 1277. 

decimated^ himself, ending liis days at the city of Eieti^ on 
the tenth of the month of January ; he sat four years, four 
months,, and nineteen days. Peter, bishop of Ostia, of the 
order of preachers, succeeded him under the name of Inno- 
cent y. ; but he died on the eve of St. John the Baptist 
[23rd June]. He was succeeded by Ottoboni, a cardinal- 
deacon by the title of St. Adrian, who took the name of 
Adrian [V.] ; but dying shortly afterwards, within the octave 
of the Assumption [22nd August], Peter de Spineto, bishop 
of Frascati, a native of Spain, was elected his successor 
on the eve of the Holy Cross [13th September], and took 
the name of John XX. 

G-reat part of Cambridge, with the church of St. Eennet, 
was consumed by fire. One Michael Tovy, mayor of London, 
was hung in the Tower, at the circuit of the Justiciary. 
Edmund, earl of Lancaster, the king's brother, married the 
queen of Navarre. Queen Eleanor gave birth to a daughter, 
to whom she gave the name of Berengaria. The remains of 
St. Richard, formerly bishop of Chichester, were translated 
with great pomp on the eve of St. Botolph [16th June], 
in the presence of the king and queen of England, and some 
other great personages. One moiety of the fifteenth penny 
granted to the king the year before was now collected. 

The kings of France and Spain having quarrelled, the king 
of France marched a numerous army against the Idng of Spain 
with so little caution, that he retreated without his expedition 
having answered much purpose. A total eclipse of the moon 
occurred on St. Clement's night [23rd November], the 
moon being for the space of nearly tw^o hours so entirely 
obscured, that scarcely a vestige of it was visible. A murrain 
among sheep commenced this year in Lindsey, and continuing 
for several years spread through nearly the wdiole of England. 

Invasion of Wales, 

[a.d. 1277.] The king of England sent a numerous army 
into Wales under the command of H. de Lacy, earl of Lincoln. 
The king himself, while the army proceeded on their march 

^ '' Qui decimas imposuit decimo die . . . decimatus est." 
- Apud urbem Reatinam. According to others, Gregory X. died 
at Aretiura (Arezzo). 

A.D. 1277.] EDWARD l/s PROGRESSES. 3.57 

towards Wales, deviated from their route into the parts of 
Norfolk and Suffolk, and having kept the least of Easter at 
Norwich, returned to London through the maritime districts 
of Norfolk and Essex. But inmiediately after the feast of 
St. John, he led in person nearly the whole military array 
of England into Wales. 

The great khan of the Tartars, whoso name was Moal, 
having- sent six ambassadors of the highest rank amonor his 
people from the eastern part of the world, they arrived about 
the feast of Easter [28th March], accompanied by an inter- 
preter, and apologised for their master not having met 
the king of England when he was in the neighbourhood of 
Acre ; and they also implored his aid against the enemies of 
the cross, that is the Pagans. The lord pope [John XX.] 
closed his days at Viterbo on the sixth of the ides [10th] of 
March; from which time the see was vacant until the 
feast of St. Catherine's [25th November]. On that day the 
lord John of Gaieta, cardinal-deacon, by the title of St. 
Nicholas-in-Carccre-TuUiano, was elected pope, and took the 
name of Nicholas III. 

The sultan of Babylon, Avitli an army containing nearly all 
the best troops in his dominions, encountered the Tartar 
hordes between Armenia and the river Euphrates, about the 
sixteenth of the calends of August [17th July], when he 
and nearly all his army Avere put to the sword. In this battle 
forty-two thousand of the Hagarenes, and fifteen thousand 
men of the Tartar host, fell, the Avhole being nearly exter- 

There was violent and intolerable rain on the sixth of the 
ides [the 10th] of October, which continued falling for two 
days and a night. The rains were followed by such vast 
inundations that in some places, men, oxen and sheep, and 
other cattle in the field were overtaken and drowned during 
tlie storm in the night : they also levelled to the ground 
houses, walls, and trees, with other buildings which resisted 
Hm^ current. This storm was most violent about St. Edmund's, 
Essex, and the county of Cambridge, while in other parts of 
England, it occasioned little or no damage. Walter de 
Morton, bishop of Eochester, ended his days, and was suc- 
ceeded by John, monk and precentor of the same church. 

3j8 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1277, 1278. 

Submission of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. 

After some losses on both sides, Llewellyn, prince of Wales, 
submitted himself entirely to the pleasure and disposal of the 
lord king with scarcely any conditions as to life or limbs, his 
territories and honours, or anything else. The king, after 
some deliberation, received him to favour and brought him 
to London, to treat of the terms and form of peace. Llewellyn, 
having kept the feast of Christmas with the king, returned to 
his own country. 

[a.D. 1278.] Eoger, bishop of Norwich, died at his manor 
of Sutlilingham^ on the feast of St. Yincent, the Martyr 
[22nd January] ; and was buried at Norwich on the octave 
of St. Agnes [the 28th January]. He was succeeded by 
master William de Middleton, archdeacon of Canterbury, who 
rras elected on the feast of St. Matthew the apostle [21st 

The other moiety of the fifteenth pennies, being collected, 
the abbot and convent of St. Edmund's compounded with the 
king for their fifteenth at ninety pounds, the abbot contribut- 
ing thirty pounds as his share, and the convent sixty, as 

Eobert, archbishop of Canterbury, being summoned to the 
court of Rome by the lord pope, was made bishop of Ostia, 
with the title of cardinal-bishop of St. Rufina ; on his being 
thus removed, Robert Burnel, bishop of Bath and Wells, and 
the king's chancellor, was presently named as postulant for 
the archbishopric by the convent of Canterbury. 

A remarkable battle was fought at Aix-la-Chapelle in Ger- 
many, where the count de Golc, with three hundred of his 
followers, all of noble birth, and nearly the whole of their re- 
tainers, perished, not so much by human means as by a divine 
judgment. The king of Bohemia having revolted against 
Rodolph, king of Germany, after their treaty of alliances 
had been broken by him, was slain by the king of Germany 
with fifty thousand of his troops, who perished to the last man. 

Llewellyn, prince of Wales, married at Worcester Eleanor, 
the daughter of Symon de Montfort, formerly earl of Leicester, 
on the feast of the translation of St. Edward [13th October], 
tlie kings of England and Scotland being there present. 

* Probably Soiith-Eerlingliair, a manor of the bishop of Norwich. 

A.D. 1278, 1270.J TREATMENT OF THE JEWS. 3-30 

The kin? and queen came to St. Edmund's on St. Clement's 
dav [2.3i-d Xovembor], in their way to Norwich to attend the 
dedication of tlie church, Avhich took ])kace on the fourth of 
the calends of December [2Sth Xovember], the greatest part 
of the nobles of England being present with the king. 

llobert, bishop of Carlisle, died ; and was succeeded by 
Kulph, prior of Gisburn. A circuit was made by the judges, 
the lord John de Wallibus, and the associates assigned him, 
in the county of Cumberland ; the lord Iloger Loveday, with 
those assigned him, going into Herefordshire. 

The Houses of tJie Jews and Goldsmiths searched. 

All the Jews in England, of every condition, age, and sex, 
were suddenly arrested on the octave of St. Martin [18th 
November], and placed in safe custody in different castles 
throughout the country. While they were thus detained, the 
interior of their houses was carefully searched, and in many of 
them were found tokens of their being money-clippers, Tvitli 
tlieir tools ; most clear evidence of the fact. In like manner, 
all the goldsmiths throughout England, being money-changers, 
were arrested on the morrow of St. Nicholas [7th December], 
and being placed in safe custody, their houses were searched. 
]>y the king's orders, who in this business paid no respect to 
the liberties of any place, five goldsmiths and three others be- 
longing to the town of St. Edmund's were taken to London, 
in the custody nevertheless of the bailiff of the said town, to 
tlie injury, as appeared to many persons, of the liberties there-_ 
of. But when this came to the king's knowledge, he ordered 
all the before-mentioned persons to be sent back, to abide 
their trial there according to their deserts, whether guilty oi:^ 
not guilty. 

The Tartars take possession of the kingdom of Jerusalem. 
The king commanded that all persons having twenty pounds 
[a-year] in land, should receive knighthood. 

[a.d. 1279.] The king levied scutage for the expedition 
to Wales, at the rate of forty shillings for every scutage. 
Eleanor, queen of England, gave hirth to a daughter at AVind- 
sor, on the eve of St. Gregory [11th INIarch], and named her 


A great nuniher of Jews executed for clipping the Coin. 

The kinf^ caused all the Jews, and some Christians, con- 
victed of clipping, or making base coin, to be hung. Where- 
fore two hundred and sixtj-seven Jews suffered the sen- 
tence of death ; some were banished, others condemned to 
perpetual imprisonment, and some remained in England. As. 
for the money-changers, they were either admitted to main- 
prise, or placed in safe custody in their own houses, and 
havino* ransomed themselves were allowed their liberty. Ta 
^make this inquest, the lords John of Chobham, and Waiter 
de Heliun came to St. Edmund's with a commission from our 
lord the king, and acting in an unprecedented manner against 
the liberties of the abbey, without regard to any of its 
charters, papal or royal, gave final judgment in the Guild- 
hall on the goldsmiths of the town, and others who were 
indicted or arrested on suspicion, and brought the fines wdiich 
ensued from their proceedings into the royal exchequer : they 
even compelled the sacristan to ransom himself for one hun- 
dred marks. 

The pope having quashed the election of Robert Burnel, 
gave the archbishopric of Canterbury to friar John de Peckham, 
of the order of Minors. The pope also gave the arch- 
bishopric of Dublin to friar John de Darlington, of the order 
of Preachers. 

On the death of Symon, abbot of St. Edmund's, the king- 
took possession of the portion of the convent as well as the 
barony of the abbot, a proceeding before unheard of; nor 
could the convent get their portion out of his hands either for 
love or money, but all their possessions, both within the viil 
of St. Edmund's and without, were placed under the manage- 
ment of John de Berewich, the king's attorney, a sufficient 
exhibition being provided for the monks, and the homages^ of 
the conventual manors being taxed for the king's service. 

The queen of Spain, lady of Ponthieu, mother of Eleanor^, 
queen of England, ended her days ; in consequence of which, 
about the beginning of Ma}^, the king of England crossed the 
sea to do homage to the king of France for the county of 
Ponthieu, which fell to him in right of his wdfe, as daughter 
and heiress of the aforesaid queen, now deceased. Wherefore, 

* Homagiis — the free tenants ; a term still used in manorial courts. 


in a parliament held at Amiens, at which the kings of Franco 
and England, and many of the nobles of both kingdoms, met, 
the king of England quitted claim for the duchy of Xormandy 
to the king of France for ever ; reserving only a perpetual 
yearly rent charge of three thousand livres of Paris, payable 
from tlie treasury of Rouen. He also received for his quit- 
claim Angoumois, the Limosin, Perigord, and Saintogne ; 
and this beinc: settled returned to England. 

John, archbishop of Canterbury, having summoned all the 
bishops under his jurisdiction, held his synod at Reading on 
the feast of St. James tlie apostle [2oth July]. Walter, arch- 
bishop of York, died, and was succeeded by master William 
de Wikewane, chancellor of that church. 

At Northampton, a boy was crucified by the Jews on tho 
day of the Adoration of the Holy Cross [14th September], 
but was not quite killed ; notwithstanding, under this pre- 
text, numbers of the Jews in London were torn to pieces by 
horses and hung, immediately after Easter [2nd April]. 

An alteration was made in the English coinage, the tri- 
angular farthing ^ being changed for a round one, but the old 
current money was for a time allowed to remain in circulation 
along with the new coins : the pennies, however, being, con- 
trary to precedent, entirely disused, a great penny ^ was struck, 
equal to four common ones. 

^ Properly speaking, there were no such coins as " triangular far- 
thini^s." The currency at that time, as well as during the Saxon period, 
consisted of silver pennies, which sometimes, during their circulation, 
were divided into two or four pieces, to make halfpence or farthings, 
as occasion required, for small payments. The metal being thin, and 
the coins havinj^ the impress, on one face, of a cross forming right 
anr^les at the centre, they could bo cut neatly and exactly into these 
halves and quarters, which were nearly triangular. Indeed, in some of 
the silver pennies the cross is formed of double lines, apparently to 
facilitate the operation, the cut being made between them. But this, 
however convenient, beini^, in strictness, a clippini^ of the coin of the 
realm, Edward I. prohibited it ; calling in the anj^ular segments, and 
issuing a coinage of "round" silver farthings in their place. Speci- 
mens of these, as well as of the halved and cpiartered pennies, are 
preserved in the British Museum. 

* In the same collection there may also bo seen some of these 
" p^reat pennies," or silver i^roats, but they are somewhat rare. Tlu^ 
latter clause of this passage bein^;; rather obscure, the ori<;inal is sub- 
joined, in order that those who are curious in such matters may form 

362 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1279, 1280.. 

Jolin, archbisliop-olcct of Dublin, -was consecrated at Wal- 
tliam on the sixth of the calends of September [27th August], 
by John, archbishop of Canterbury, %vith the assistance of 
Nicholas, bishop of Winchester, Robert, bishop of Bath and 
Wells, and William, bishop of ]S'or\Yich. Cardinal Robert cle 
Kilwardeby, formerly archbishop of Canterbury, died, as it is 
re]:)orted, of poison. 

Our lord the king enacted, provided, and ordained, that 
men of religion should not get possession of other people's 
lands or tenements.-^ 

John, the abbot-elect of St. Edmund's, having accomplished 
liis business in the Roman court, and received his benediction 
at the hand of our lord pope Nicholas, as well as being put in 
possession of his barony by the king, with all that belonged 
both to his own portion and that of the convent, was solemnly 
inaugurated in his church on Holy Innocents' day [28th Oc- 
tober], His expenses in the journey to Rome amounted to 
eleven hundred and seventy-five marks, ten shillings, and nine 

Richard, bishop of Lincoln, departed this life ; and was 
succeeded by master Oliver de Sutton, dean of that church. 
The king celebrated the feast of our Lord's Nativity at Win- 

[a.D. 1280.] Nicholas, bishop of Winchester, died on the 
sixth of the ides [the 8th] of February. On his death, Robert, 
bishop of Bath and Wells, was the postulant^ for the succession 
to the bishopric of Winchester, but his suit was quashed in 
the court of Rome, and, contrary to expectation, the pope 
granted to the chapter of Winchester free liberty of electing ; 
their choice fell on master Richard de Mora, archdeacon of 
that church. 

their opinion of its drift : — " Ultra vero consuetum, oLoJis penitus sus- 
pensis, /actus est unus denarius magnus, cequipollens iv denariis com- 

^ Non adquirant. This was the first statute of Mortmain. 

^ A postulant was one who, having been duly elected to a bishopric, 
sued for his confirmation to the superior ecclesiastical authority; 
but in the stricter sense of the term, it was applied to a bishop-elect, 
who had been chosen from a different diocese, in which case a dis- 
pensation was required. This was not a matter of rij^ht, but depended 
upon the pleasure of the pope, who often set aside the election, and 
either referred it to the chapter to make a new choice, or made the 
appointment himself. 

A.D. 1280, 1281.] THE new coixage. 3C3 

Jolm, bishop of London, died on tlie sixtli of tlie ides [tlie 
8th] of February, and the lord Tulk Liu'el, archdeacon of 
Colchester, was elected in his stead ; but as he immediately re- 
signed, master liichard de Gravcsend, archdeacon of North- 
am|)ton, was elected to succeed him. 

There was a total eclipse of the moon on the night of the 
feast of St. Edmund, king and martyr ; tlie moon being dyed 
the colour of blood for the space of nearly two hours. Am- 
l)assadors came to the king of England from the great kaliu 
of the Tartars, on an amicable errand. 

It was enacted that no persons should negotiate the old 
money after Assumption day [15th August] : the newpennies 
were made round, 

Walter, bishop of Exeter, died ; and was succeeded b}' mas- 
tor Peter of Exeter, a canon of that church. Ealph, abbot of 
Croyland, departed this life. 

Violent thunder and lightning were heard in many parts of 
England on the eve of St. Martin [10th November], whieli 
struck down houses and trees, and filled the beholders with 
astonishment and alarm. 

The clergy of England granted to the king the fifteenth of their 
ecclesiastical property, according to the valuation of Walter, 
bishop of Norwich, for three years. Magnus, king of Nor- 
way, died. Pope Nicholas [lY.] yielded to fate at Castro 
Sariano,^ on the eleventh of the calends of September [22nd 
August], and the see remained void six months and fourteen 
days. John, archbishop of Canterbury, held his visitation in 
the diocese of Norwich ; that is to say, in Norfolk at the end 
of the present year, and in Suifolk at the beginning of the 
year following. 

[a.d. 1281.] The king tarried in Norfolk until the feast 
of the Purification [2nd February] was past. Tiiere was a 
total eclipse of the moon on the nones [the 7th] of March. 

Symon of Tours, cardinal-priest of St. Cecilia, was elected 
pope by the name of Martin III. There was an eclipse of the 
moon on the day before the calends of September [31st 
August], the moon for a considerable time appearing of a 
dusky hue. 

Henry, bisliop of Lirgc in Germany, wlio was do])rivod of 
his bishopric by the late council of Lyons for his incontinence 
' III the diocese of Viterbo. 


(havincr, it is said, begotten no less than sixty-one sons and 
daughters), Ivilled his successor John vv^ith his own hand, on the 
eighth of the ides [the 6th] of September, coming upon him 
unawares in the night. Master Hugh, of Evesham, was 
created cardinal-priest by the title of St. Lawrence. 

A^ new charter was obtained from the king, making a 
division between the possessions of the abbot, and those of the 
convent of St. Edmund's, so that thenceforth they should 
under no circumstances be held in common ; for which a thou- 
sand pounds Avere paid to my lord the king, besides the queen's 
gold in respect to this payment, and other collateral ex- 
penses, which amounted to an immense sum. The substance 
of this charter is entered at the end of the chartulary of the 
ninth year of this king's reign. The king celebrated the feast 
of Christmas at Worcester. 

On the feast of the Purification of St. Mary [2nd. Eebru- 
ary], the bishop of Sidon performed mass at Jerusalem, where 
for a long time past divine offices had been discontinued, on 
account of the invasion of the Saracens. 

Revolt of Llewellyn, Prince of Wales. 

Llewellyn, prince of Wales, regardless of the treaty of peace 
and alliance between himself and the king, which he had 
already evaded, broke into open rebellion against the lord the 
king, with his brother David. Wherefore, on the eve of 
Palm-Sunday [21st March], laying in ruins some of the king's 
castles in Wales and the Marches, and setting fire to others^ 
and threatening further enormities, he massacred great numbers 
of the king's liegemen ; and having captured the lord Roger 
de Ciiiford in his bed, before day-break, he carried him off 
into lYales, vrhither he returned with a vast booty. Where- 
upon, the king, having to send an army to Wales to avenge 
the injuries he had sustained, levied a subsidy in the nature 
of a loan, from all his own cities and boroughs, and also from 
the cities and boroughs belonging to ecclesiastics, for carrying 
on the war. The lord John de Kirkby, archdeacon of Coven- 
try, was com^missioned by the king to conduct this affair, in 
all parts of England, and he obtained at London a contribu- 
tion of eight thousand marks in the manner just mentioned. 
Having then first made his visitation in the boroughs and 
burgesses of Yarmouth and Norwich, and received at Yar- 

A.D. 1281.] A FORCED LOAN. 3G5 

mouth a tlioiisand marks, and at Norwich five Inindred pounds, 
ho came to St. Edmund's, Avherc, ha\'ing taxed the burg-esses 
at five hundred marks, lie entrusted to the prior of the abbey 
the assessment of those ^vllo did suit and service at the monks' 
court, that tliey might not be taxed by the burgesses, Avhich 
had never been done ; their assessment amounted to the sum 
of twenty-six marks. Tlie gild of Dusze,' in the town of St. 
Edmund's, was also taxed by the prior at twelve marks ; and 
lie extorted from the abbot and convent of St. Edmund's one 
hundred marks, under colour of a loan. 

Meanwhile, Eleanor, th.o daughter of Symon de Montfort, 
formerly carl of Leicester, wlio was married to Llewellyn, 
prince of Wales, died in giving birth to a daughter, who sur- 
vived her and was named Gwenllian, on the feast of SS. 
Gorvasius and Protasius [19th June], and was buried at 
Llandraais,^ in the house of the friars-minors. The king levied 
for his expedition fifty marks for each knight's foe, but dealing 
moderately with the abbot of St. Edmund's, he accepted three 
hundred pounds for the service he owed.^ Of those who took 
part in this expedition, three fell in West Wales, William, son 
and heir of William de Valence, and several others with him'; 
and in North Wales, the lords Luke de Tany, Eoger de Clif- 
ford the younger, William de Lindsoy, William de Audcley, 
and many more with them ; some of them being stopped by 
the rivers and drowned in crossing them in their flight, and 

' Duodence. " This was the Gild of the Translation of St. Nicholas, 
vuljrarly called the Glide de Dusze. A leaden bull in the possession 
of the llev. H. Hasted, of Mary St. Edmund's, bears on the obverse a 
mitred half-figure and the lei^end Sigillu.m GiLDii-: Sci. Niciiol,, and 
on the reverse the letter T between S and N of a smaller size, with 

the lof^end Congregacfo Duode It was otherwise called 

Dusp^ilde, and was holdon in the colIe2:o at Bury. See Tymm's History 
of^St. ]\Iary's Church, pp. G1—^l"—Thor],e. 

- Probably Llanvais, near Beaumaris ; a house of Franciscans, or 
friars-minors, founded by Llewellyn-ap-Jor\verth, prince of North 
"Wales, before the year 1240. It was the burial-place of many barons 
and kiiij^hts slain in the Welsh -wars. 

^ 'j'he extent of the kin,f2;*s moderation in dealing with an ecclesiastic 
of those days, or what a churchman, in strui^u^linj^ as well as he could 
against tiiese exactions, would think af^ood bare^ain, cannot, of course, 
be calculated ; but we mi^^ht conclude, from the data here <^ivcn, that 
the abbot of St. Edmondsbury's knii^ht's fees were at least ten. How- 
ever, in a subsequent passage of the Continuation they are stated at 
only six. 


others falling by the sword, without the Welsh having suffered 
any loss. 

Death of Prince Llewellyn. 

Affairs being in this state, Llewellyn, prince of Wales, was 
intercepted by the king's troops in South Wales, and lost his 
life and his head on Friday the fourth of the ides [the 10th] 
of December ;' on the next day his head was brought to the 
king in North Wales, and he forthwith sent it to his army sta- 
tioned in Anglesey ; and after the people of Anglesey were 
satiated with the spectacle, he ordered it to be immei'' '■-^_ -^ly 
conveyed to London. On the morrow of St. Thomas the 
apostle [22nd December], the Londoners went out to meet it 
Avith trumpets and cornets, and conducted it through all the 
streets of the city, with a marvellous clang.^ After this, 
they stuck it up for the rest of the day in their pillory, and 
towards evening it was carried to the Tower of London, and 
fixed on a lofty pole. As for the body of the prince, his 
mangled trunk, it was interred in the abbey of Cunheir,^ be- 
longing to the monks of the Cistercian order. 

The Coast infested hy Dutch Pirates. 

Pirates from Zealand and Holland, making a piratical 
descent in the neighbourhood of Yarmouth and Dunwich, 
plundered all that fell in their way, butchered the people, and 
carried off some ships with their cargoes. Florence, earl of 
Holland, gained a glorious victory over the Flemings, with the 
slaughter of fifteen thousand of their troops, in revenge for 
the death of his father, William, whom they had recently slain 
and buried in their country without honour ; some of them 
also from fear of the count abandoned their country, and sub- 
mitting to voluntary exile, transported themselves to other 
lands. He, therefore, conveyed to his own country with 
solemn pomp the body of his father, which had been ignomin- 
iously buried among the Frisians with a small attendance, 

^ He met his death in a copse-wood, on the banks of the Irvon, near 
Builth, in Radnorshire. 

^ Knighton relates that Llewellyn's head was carried through West 
Chepe with a silver crown on it, in fulfilment of one of Merlin's pro- 
phecies. Holinshed says that the crown was of ivy. 

^ Cumheir — Cumhyre, Cwmhyr, a Cistercian abbey in Radnorshire^ 
founded in the year ] 143 by Cadwallon-ap-Madoc. 


and there deposited it in a toinb witli great honour and cere- 

Richard, archdeacon of Wincliester, -who was lately elected 
Lishop of that see, resigned his appointment to the bishopric 
into tlie pope's hands, who innnediately contorrod it on John 
do Punteyse, archdeacon of Exeter. The king of the Tartars, 
joining his forces to the Hospitallers, fought a battle with tho 
sultan, in wliich engagement the Pagans were defeated, and 
the sultan himself was taken prisoner and detained in close 
custody at Babylon. 

anor, queen of England, gave birtli to a daughter at 
Hhuddlan, and named her Elizabeth. Isabel, countess of 
Arundel, having ended her days, was buried at Marham. 
Master Thomas de Canteloupe, bishop of Hereford, died at 
the court of Rome, and master Richard de Swinefield, arch- 
deacon of London, succeeded him by election. 

Herman, tlio son of the king of Germany, Avho was to have 
been married to the king of England's daughter, carelessly 
walking on the ice while it thawed, the ice broke and he fell 
in and was drowned. The eldest son of John de Hastings, 
whom he called William, was born on St. Francis's day. The 
lord Thomas Lenebaud, arclideacon of Suffolk, died at Horham, 
on the eve of St. Lucia [12th December]. The king spent 
the feast of Christmas at Rhuddlan, in Wales. 

A Subsidy granted, 

[a.d. 1283.] The commons of all England granted the king, 
as a subsidy for his war, the thirtieth penny of all their mov- 
ables, with the exception of horses, armour, ready money, and 
the wardrobe ; in levying this subsidy, the king caused the 
whole amount lie had received the preceding 3'^ear, in the 
shape or under colour of a loan, to be allowed in the payment. 
On the Sunday in Mid-Lent, which fell that year on the fifth 
of the calends of April [28th March], the king seized all the 
money arising from the tenths, which the pope had granted as a 
subsidy for the Holy Land, and which was deposited in ditl'erent 
places in England ; l)reaking the locks, and carrying it off and 
disj)osing of it according to his own arbitrary will. 

John, bishop of Rochester, died, and was succeeded by 
master Thomas de Ingoldsthorpe, dean of St. Paul's, London, 


who was consecrated at Canterbury, on the feast of SS. Cosmo 
and Damianus [27th September]. 

Subjugation of Wales, and Execution of Prince David. 

After the death of Llewellyn, prince of Wales, and the 
oscape by flight of his brother David, all the rest of the Welsh, 
both the nobles and common people, having voluntarily sub- 
mitted to the king's pleasure, he reduced under his dominion 
the whole of Wales to the Irish sea. All the castles and for- 
tresses were delivered up to him; he introduced the English 
laws, and appointed justices and other officers to keep the 
peace, and fixed the exchequer of Wales and the officers of 
the treasury at Chester. Meanwhile, the before-mentioned 
David, having lost his whole army, and wandering about with- 
out a home, at last, as ill luck would have it, having sought 
out some cottage for the purpose of concealing himself, was 
.surrounded by some of the royal army ; and being made pri- 
soner, v/ith one of his sons and ten others, was brought before 
the king on the eve of St. Alban's [21st June], and by his 
-command was committed to close custody in Chester castle.- 
Then, at a general parliament, held at Shrewsbury in the 
king's court, on the morrow of St. Leodegard [3rd October], 
of which, by royal appointment, John de Wallibus was pre- 
sident, David, the brother of Llewellyn, formerly prince of 
"Wales, who had assumed the right of prince since his brother's 
•death, was convicted of rebellion, high treason, and sacrilege, 
.and condemned to be drawn, hung, and quartered. His head 
was carried to London^ and his body, divided into quarters, 
was sent to Winchester, Northampton, Chester, and York ; 
his bowels were sentenced to be burnt, as a punishment for 
ills guilt of sacrilege in frequently burning churches. Mabadin, 
liis steward, a man even more barbarous in his deeds than in 
his name, having been at the same time convicted of treason, 
was drawn asunder by horses, and at length an end was put 
to his sufferings by his being hanged. 

Robert, bishop of Durham, died, and was succeeded by 

the lord Anthony Bek, archdeacon of the same church. 

i^sicholas, abbot of St. Augustine's at Canterbury, pretending 

to go in pilgrimage to St. Nicholas at Bari,-^ betook himself 

^ See the legend of the translation of the relics of St. Nicholas, 
Kshop of Myra, to Bari, in Apulia. Orclericus Vitalis, b. vii., c. xii. 
<(vol. ii., p. 384, Antiq. Lib.) 


to the court of the pope, and resigned the staff and ring, the 
badges of liis dignity, into the pope's hands. Having done 
this, he entered the order of the Carthusians, and the pope 
conferred his abbey on one Thomas de Findon, a monk of 
that monastery. 

Peter y Iring of Arragon, gains possession of Sicily. 

Peter, king of Arragon, chiiming for himself the inheri- 
tance of the territories of Sicily, Calabria, and Apulia, in 
right of his wife, as the daughter of Manfred, son of Frederic, 
formerly emperor of the Romans, Avho died, as it is said, 
seized of and invested with those territories; and having 
gained the support of the nobles of those territories, by 
promises and gifts, with their general consent and approbation 
secured in one day, by artifice or stratagem, all the castles 
and munitions of Charles, king of Sicily ; slew all lie found 
in them, seized his treasure, and entirely destroyed his fleet, 
after putting the crews to death. Having expelled king 
Charles and taken possession of his dominions, he caused his 
son to be crowned king of Sicily by the emperor of Con- 
stantinople, by whose advice and aid he had accomplished all 

The clergy grant a subsidy. 

The clergy of the province of Canterbury granted the 
king, as a subsidy for his war, the twentieth part of all eccle- 
siastical revenues for two years, according to the valuation 
of AValter, formerly bishop of Norwich. Richard, abbot of 
"Westminster, the king's treasurer, died on the first of the 
month of December, and his interment took place at AVcst- 
minstcr on the third day afterwards : he was succeeded by 
Walter de Wenlock, a monk of the same house. 

The king spent the feast of Christmas at Rhuddlan, in 
Wales. The sultan of Babylon died. At London, and in 
divers parts of England, such wonderful flashes of light and 
awful thunder were seen and heard- on St. Stephen's day 
[-?(kh December], that those who beheld and heard it were 
struck with exceeding terror and alarm. During the whole 
sunnner, and the greater ])art of the ensuing autunni, there 
were such violent rains, that nearly all the hopes of the sowers 
in the spring proved illusory at the season of harvest. 


[a.d. 1284.] Friar John of Darlington, of the order of 
friars- preachers, archbishop of Dublin, died in the neigh- 
bourliood of tlie city of London, on the fifth of the calends 
of April [28th March], and was buried in the New Church 
belono-ing to the friars-preachers in Earnard-castle at London. 

On Easter day, which fell on the fifth of the ides [the 9tli] 
of April, about the first hour of the day, there were at St. 
Edmund's such a sudden and unexpected flash of lightning, 
and such loud and continued claps of thunder, that those 
who hoard them could scarcely hold their footing. And, 
although the storm was so violent in that place, it did no 
harm in the country, or but very little. We have heard that 
the same storm occurred in parts beyond the seas, the same 
day and hour. 

Prince Edward horn at Carnarvon, 

On the feast of St. Mark the evangelist [25th April], a 
son was born to the king of England, at Carnarvon in Wales, 
who was named Edv/ard. Robert, bishop of Salisbury, slept 
in the Lord ; and was succeeded by master Richard Seamel, 
dean of the same church. 

In Germany, a certain low fellow suddenly appearing in 
public, and pretending that he was Frederic, the late emperor 
of the Romans, who died long before in the year of our 
Lord, 1250, collected a numerous household, v/ith the good- 
will of nearly all that country, and a powerful army. King 
Rodolph was so far from opposing him, that he rather aided 
the deception, so that he caused himself to be treated with 
reverence by all as their king and emperor. 

The lord Alphonso, son of the Iving of England, died at 
Windsor, on the feast of St. Magnus, the martyr [19th 
August], and was carried to Westminster and buried with 
great pomp on the eve of the Decollation of St. John the 
Baptist [28th August]. 

A storm of thunder and lightning occurred at St. Edmund's, 
on the morrow of St. Faith [7th Oct.], before the first 
hour, with such sudden flashes and loud claps, that all who 
saw or heard it, were struck with the greatest terror. At 
Dunwich, on the fifth of the calends of December [27th 
November], from the third to the sixth hour of this day, the 
sea appeared to be on fire, with not a very bright but rather 

A.D. 1284, 1285.] PETER OF ARR.VGOX DEPOSED. 371 

a yellow flame. Our lord the pope, in consequence of the 
rebellion, contumacy, and disobedience of Peter, some time 
kini^ of Arragon, gave his kingdom to Philip, son and heir of 
the king of France, reserving to the apostolic see, for the 
said kingdom, a hundred pounds annually. This Philip 
married the heiress of the kingdom of Navarre. John, arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, held his visitation of the diocese of 
Lincoln, and continued it to Easter [7th April], in the year 

That part of the church of St. Peter at Rome, in which 
the altar of the apostles stood with their principal images, 
suddenly and unaccountably fell in ruins. Hugh de Lusignan, 
king of Cyprus, with his son and some others of his family, 
were poisoned to death by the knights' Brothers of the Temple. 
In the church of St. Mary-at-Bow, in London, one of the 
Londoners named Lawrence, was wounded by some evil- 
minded men of that city, and at last hung from one of the 
beams of the church. The king of England, being greatly dis- 
turbed at this outrage, ordered some of the oftenders, the least 
guilty indeed but the most wealthy, to be drawn asunder by 
horses, and then hung ; but the real culprits, who were rich, 
he sentenced to pay a fine in money. The king spent the 
feast of Christmas at Bristol. 

[a.d. 1285. J Charles, king of Sicily, died at Barletta in 
Apulia,^ on the eve of the Epiphany [5th August]. After 
his decease, the Sicilians espousing the cause of Peter of 
Arragon — who had, even during Charles's life, usurped the 
government of Sicily in opposition to the Boman church — 
and keeping in custody Charles, prince of the Morea, that 
king's son, their captive in war, returned home in triumph. 

John, archbishop of Canterbury, during his visitation of 
the diocese of Ely, dismissed all the obedientiai'ies/ the prior 
only excepted. 

The Jung and queen go to Bury, 

Our lord the king of England, with the queen and three 
of his daughters, arrived at St. Edmund's on the tenth of 
the calends of March [20tli February], and paid, with great 

' Barletta, near Bari, at the mouth of the Aufidus. 
^ The c)bodioiitiario.s wei'o various oiricers oi" the abbey, who had 
the suporintcndenco of its concerns. 

z 2 


devotion and reverence, the vows which he had made to God 
and St. Edmund during his war in Wales ; proceeding on 
the morrow in his journey to Norwich, where he spent the 
wdiole of the following Lent. The king, treating as null 
his own charters, and those of several of his progenitors, 
caused the weights, measures, and ells of the town of St. 
Edmund's to be inspected by the marshal of his measures, 
alleging that this was once done in his father's time. But 
the profits accruing from that inspection, and from all other 
inspections during his visits and those of his heirs, he granted 
for the repair and ornament of the shrine of St. Edmund's, and 
confirmed this by a charter. And whereas it was alleged by 
the burgesses of the place, that this inspection ought only to 
be made on h royal visit, so that the sacristan and his bailiffs 
had hitherto been prevented from making the inspection of 
measures, it was ordained, after consultation between our 
lord the king and the sacristan, on peril of the liberties of 
the town being forfeited to the king, that the sacristan should 
make this inspection twice in every year, and enforce it on the 
corporal oath of the burgesses and other inhabitants of the 
town ; and that those who refused to submit should, for the 
first offence, be punished by fine ; and for the second, if their 
contumacy was excessive, by imprisonment, until the king 
should take order touching their offence. 

The townsmen of Ipswich imprisoned and fined. 

While the king was staying, as it has been observed, in 
the parts of Norfolk, the whole commonalty of the town of 
Ipswich having been accused to him of divers misdemeanours, 
of which they were partly convicted, were sentenced to pay 
a heavy fine ; and besides, thirteen of the townsmen of the 
better sort were sent to prison in different parts of England 
for half a year. 

About the middle of Lent [4th May], Philip [III], king of 
France, marched an army against the Idng of Arragon, who 
having lost a great number of his troops in battle, both by sea 
andland, as well as by want, at last, being seized with dysenter}', 
went the way of all flesh, at Pampeluna.-^ The king's body was 

^ An error for Perpignan, where Philip the Hardy breathed his last. 

A.D. 128a.J RELICS OF ST. DAVID. 373 

entombed with f^reat solemnity, among his ancestors at St. 
Denis, on St. Martin's day [11th November]. 

Thomas, prior of Christ's Church in Canterbury, became 
a Cistercian monk, at King's-Beaulieu, on the eve of Pahn 
Sunday [17th JSIarch] ; and was succeeded by Henry, the 
treasurer of the church of Canterbury. The pope died at 
Perugio, on the fourth of tlie calends of April [29th March], 
and Avas buried there on tlie first day of the same month ; 
and the see "was void [four] days. He was succeeded 
by the lord James de Sabella, cardinal-deacon of St. Mary 
in Cosmedin, who took the name of Honorius IV. 

A scutate granted. 

Our lord the kinj? levied a scutage of fortv shillings each 
for the army in Wales, the former one being spent. The king 
made a solemn procession from the Tower of London to West- 
minster, with the head of St. David, called also Dewy, and 
other relics which ho had brought with him out of Wales. 

There was an appearance of two moons on the eighth of 
the ides [the 8th] of May ; and in Suffolk armies appeared 
lighting in the air. 

l\\ a parliament hold at Westminster on the feast of St. 
John [2i:th June], the Idng made and published many 
statutes, some of wdiich, as many think, are intended, in 
great measure, to do away with the ecclesiastical juris- 

The pretender, who assumed the name of Frederic, having 
been convicted of heresy and other crimes, was condemned to 
the flames, and burnt to death in the presence of some of tlie 
archbishops and bishops of Germany, on the second of the 
ides of July [l-lth July]. William, archbishop of York, 
died ac Ponthieu, in parts beyond the seas, and was succeeded 
by master John, surnamed Ilomanus, precentor of the church 
of Lincoln. 

Maiy, daughter of the king of England, took the veil as a 
nun, at Amesbury, on the feast of the Nativity of St. ]\rary 
£8th September]. Alexander, king of the Scots, married the 
daugliter of the count de Dreux, a cousin of the king of 

There was a circuit of the justiciaries in the county of 

374 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1285, 1286. 

^STorthampton, by the lords justiciaries John de Wallibus, 
William de Saham, John de Metingham, Roger Loveday, and 
others ; and in Essex by the lords justiciaries Solomon de 
Eochcster, Robert de Reading, Richard de Royland, Walter 
de Sarchele, and others. The king kept the feast of Christmas 
at Exeter, in Devonshire. 

[a.D. 1286.] Philip [lY.], king of France, son of Philip 
III., was crowned at Rheims, as king of France, on the feast 
of the Epiphany [6th January]. Our lord the king held a 
great parliament at Westminster, after the Purification [2nd 
February], in which parliament w^ere present the envoys of 
the king of France, namely, Maurice de Croim, count of 
Burgundy, and the lord John D'Acre, two of the French king's 

Alexander [III.,] king of Scotland, went the way of all 
flesh on the fourteenth of the calends of April [19th March]. 
Our lord the king crossed the sea after Easter, in the month 
of May, to confer with the Idng of France ; and, appearing in 
person at the parliament held at Paris, about the Rogation 
days [19th May], did homage to the king of France for the 
territories which he claimed to hold under him. 

On the fifth of the ides [the 9th] of June, Hugh, bishop of 
Ely, ended his days at his manor of Dunharn, in the isle of 
Ely ; he was succeeded by master John de Kirkeby, treasurer 
of our lord the king of England, who was solemnly enthroned 
on Christmas eve. William, abbot of Ramsey, being affected 
with palsy, resigned his dignity, in which he was succeeded by 
John de Sauter, a monk of the same house. The priory of 
canons, at Westacre, with the church and all the offices, was 
consumed by fire, about the Nativity of St. Mary [8th 

Eleanor, mother of the king of England, took the nun's veil 
at Amesbury, in the month of July. Walter, bishop of Salis- 
bury, departed this life, and was succeeded by master Henry 
de Branteston, dean of that church. The lord William de 
Warrenne, son and heir of John de Warrenne, earl of Surrey, 
v/as encountered and cruelly slain, as it is said, by his enemies, 
in a tournament held at Croydon, in the month of December. 
The king spent the feast of Christmas at the isle of Oleron, 
in Gascony. 

[a.D. 1287.] On the night of the Circumcision the wind 

A.D. 1287.] A SEA-FIGHT. G75 

■was so violent, and the sea stormy, at Yarmouth, Dimwieh, 
Ipsv.-ich, antl otlicr places in England, as well as on the coasts 
of other countries bordering on the sea, that many buildings 
were thrown down, especially in that part of England called 
the Fens ; nearly the whole district was converted into a lake, 
and, unhappily, great numbers of men were overtaken by tho 
floods and drowned. On the morrow of tho octave of the 
Epiphany [1-Ath January], sudden flashes of light were seen, 
which much terrified the beholders. 

The poj)e^ died at St. Peter's, at Rome, on Wednesday, in 
Palm week, being the morrow of the Annunciation, and was 
buried there on Friday in Easter week following. The see 
was void eleven months and thirty-four days.^ 

The Jews imprisoned. 

The Jev/s in all parts of England, of every ago and sex, 
were committed to safe custody on Friday, the morrow of the 
apostles 8S. Philip and Jacob [2nd May] ; but after a time 
they were permitted to return to their homes on giving the 
king security for the payment of twelve thousand pounds. 

Sea-fight hetiveen the Roman, French, and Greek fleets. 

On the third of the calends of August [30th July] there 
was a gallant sea-fight between the fleets of the Roman 
churcli and the king of France, on one side, and of the em- 
peror of Constantinople, who espoused the cause of the king 
of Arragon ; in which, after the Greeks had obtained some 
})artial success, and several of the nobles in both armaments 
were taken prisoners and the rest cruelly slain, the victory 
rested on the enemy's side. 

Rebellion of Rhys^ap-Meredyth, 

Great part of South Wales, under their chief, Rhys-ap- 
Mcredyth, broke into rebellion against the king of England. 
But in the end, after great slaughter of the English, of all 
ranks, and other useless expenses, severe losses, and no small 

' Pope Honorius IV. 

- This reckoninf^ is manifestly erroneous. According to Matt. 
VVestin. Honorius IV. died April 4th, and his successor was elected 
February 16th following. 

376 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1287, 1288. 

perils, he slunk away, and for some time no one knew where 
lie was concealed ; and thus Rhys himself having, as it were,, 
disappeared, the land had rest and was quiet. 

There was a total eclipse of the moon on the night of the 
feast of SS. Eomanus and Severinus [22nd October]. 
Stephen, bishop of Chichester, ended his days, and was suc- 
ceeded by master Gr. de St. Leobhard. In the month of 
December, the sea overflowed its banks in the parts of Norfolk 
and Suffolk, particularly at Yarmouth, and caused much 

The king of England received a solemn embassy from the 
khan of the Tartars while he was in Gascony, intended 
to renew the former alliance with himself and the kings, 
his predecessors. Also, the king celebrated the feast of our 
Lord's Nativity at Bourdeaux, in Gascony. 

[a.D, 1288.] On the third of the nones [the 3rd] of 
Pebruary, about nightfall, flashes of light were suddenly and 
unexpectedly seen at St. Edmund's, there having been no 
signs prognosticating it ; and, at the same instant, there was 
a tremendous crash, I will not say of thunder, followed by an 
insufferable stench. The storm was accompanied by visible 
sparks of fire, which fearfully dazzled the eyes of the be- 
holders. The tower of the church of Barnwell was set on 
Are by the violence of tlie thunder-storm, and further damage 
done to the convent there, and one third part of the town 
was a prey to the flames. At last the lightning also struck 
the refectory at St. Edmund's, but the fire was quickly ex- 
tinguished by the monks. 

The lord Jerora, cardinal-bishop of Prasneste, of the order 
of friars-minors, was elected pope on the feast of St. Peter-in- 
Cathedra [22nd Pebruary] and took the name of Nicholas 
TV. Henry, bishop of Salisbury, departed this life, and on 
his decease there was a double election of master William de 
la Corne and master Lawrence de Hakebrun, a canon of the 
same church ; but as Lawrence died immediately afterwards, 
the before-mentioned master William was re-elected. 

On the day before the nones [the 4th] of June, a battle 
was fought between the duke of Brabant on one side, and the 
archbishop of Cologne and the count of Gueldres on the 
other, in which a great number of the nobility fell on both 
sides, and the archbishop of Cologne and the count of 

A.D. 12S8, 12S9.] EDWARD RI:TURNS from FRANCE. 377 

Gueldros wcro taken prisoners and confined under the custody 
of the duke of Brabant ; and thus the Brabanters secured tlio 
victory. Great part of the market at St. Botolph's, with the 
house of tlie friars-preachers, was burnt to the ground on th.o 
morrow of St. James [2Gtli July]. 

On the fiftli of the ides [the 11th] of October, tlie moon 
■was ahnost totally eclipsed, which lasted from nearly midnight 
until the dawn of day. The king s])ent Christmas at 
Bellegarde, in the territory of Bearne. 

[a.d. 1280.] Reginald, abbot of Waltham, ended his days 
about the feast of St. Peter-in-Cathedru [22nd February],^ 
and was buried at Waltham on the morrow of St. Matthew 
the a])ostle [22nd September]. He was succeeded by Robert 
do Elington, a canon of the same cluirch. 

The king and queen, after being four years abroad, came 
over to England, and Landed at Dover on the day before the 
ides [the 12th] of August; and after a short stay, first in 
Kent and then in Essex, arrived at St. Edmund's on St. 
Lambert's day [17th September], proceeding on the morrow 
into the pnrts of Norfolk. Going thence by sea to the isle of 
Ely, on their way to London, the king celebrated the feast of 
the Translation of St. Edward [13th October], with great 
solemnity at Westminster. 

Thomas Wetland, chief justice of the King's Bench. 

The lord Thomas Weyland, the king's chief justice of the 
lower bench, having been indicted and convicted on trial for 
harbouring some of his people who had lately committed a 
murder, and fearing to throw himself upon the king's mercy, 
took sanctuary in the house of the friars-minors, then living 
at St. Edmund's. Having been closely guarded there by the 
country for several days, by the king's order, he assumed 
their habit, when it was least expected. The king being 
informed of this, sent a knight belonging to his guard with 
instructions to employ the whole power of the country to 

' This i.s the roading of tho text in all the editions, but it ajipears to 
be erroneous, and that instead of St. Peter-in-Catliedra, it should bo 
St. l^■ter-ad-^'i^(■ula, which feast occurs in tlie Iloinan calendar on tho 
2nd of .Auj^ust. Even then, the time which elapsed between the abbot's 
death and interment was very long. St. Peter's day is on 24th June. 

378 FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.B. 1289, 1290. 

keep him there witli greater security. At length, this Thomas, 
after being blockaded two months, during which nearly all the 
friars dispersed tliemselves in various places, throwing off the 
religious and re-assuming the secular habit, came out of sanc- 
tuary, and, being brought before the king, was committed to 
safe custody in the Tower of London. 

The pope raised to the throne Charles, prince of the Morea, 
the son of Charles, late king of Sicily, and solemnly crowned 
him on Whitsunday [29th May]. 

The city of Tripoli was taken by the Saracens, and laid in 
ruins, with the towns and villages, and the whole neighbouring 
country, with great slaughter of the Christians. The king 
solemnly celebrated the feast of Our Lord's Nativity at West- 

A parliament — Proceedings against delinquent judges. 

[a.d. 1290.] In a parliament held at W^estminster, which 
sat from the Circumcision of Our Lord [1st January] until 
the feast of St. Valentine [14th February], divers sentences 
were pronounced by the king and his council in the cases of 
several of the judges, whose misdemeanours were there inquired 
into, according to their respective merits. Among these, lord 
Thomas Weyland was condemned to perpetual banishment, 
with the forfeiture of all his property, movable and immov- 
able. Many also of the justices, both of the bench and who 
had been in eyre, were committed to safe custody in the 
Tower. Among these the chief were the lords John de Love- 
tot, William de Brunton, Roger de Leicester, and Robert de 
Littlebury; these were of the bench. Of the justices in eyre 
were the lords Solomon of Rochester, Richard of Boyland, 
Thomas de Sudendon, Walter de Hopet, and Robert de 
Preston. But the first of these were released at the close of 
this parliament, after paying large fines for their ransom ; the 
last remained in the Tower, the king going into another 
quarter ; but, in the end, they obtained their discharge, on the 
same terms as the others, with the king's connivance, or 
rather by his order. 

John, bishop of Ely, the king's treasurer, died at Ely on 
the morrow of the Annunciation of St. Mary [26th March], 
and, being honourably interred on Holy Thursday following, 
he was succeeded b}^ master William de Luda, archdeacon of 

A.D. 1290.] A SEA-FIGHT AND A BATTLE. 379 

Diirliam, clean of St. Martin's-the-Grcat at London, and 
keej^er of tlie king's wardrobe, who was elected on the fourth 
of the ides [the 4th] of May. 

Tlie earl of Gloucester marries the princess Joan of Acre. 

Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester, married at West- 
minster, on the last day of the month of April, the lady Joan, 
surnamed of Acre, from her having been born there, the 
daughter of the king of England. 

A great sea fight. 

On the same day there was a desperate naval engagement 
in the sea of Marmora, near St. Matthew's, between the fleets 
of Bayonne, the Cinque Ports, and the Genoese on one side, 
and of the Flemings on the other, in whicli fire and water, as 
well as arms, were used as instruments of destruction ; and 
after many of the ships were sunk, and the rest had consulted 
their safety by flight, the victory remained with the adverse 

Removal of the hody of Henry III. 

Our lord the king caused the body of the king his father, 
which was interred at Westminster, to be suddenly and unex- 
pectedly removed on the night of the feast of the Ascension 
[lOtli May], and deposited in a more elevated situation, near 
the tomb of St. Edward. 

A bloody battle between the Danes and Norwegians. 

A most savage and bloody battle was fought between the 
kings of Norway and Denmark, at Skonor in Denmark, in 
which twenty-five thousand of the Norwegians fell, without 
much loss on the part of the Danes. 

Ptoger Bigod, earl of Norfolk and marshal of England, 
brought over as his wife AUce, the daughter of John d'Aveynes, 
count of Agenois. 

John, the son and heir of John, duke of Brabant, solemnly 
espoused Margaret, daughter of the king of England, at 
Westminster, on the sixth of the ides [the 10th] of July, 
in the presence of his father and a great assemblage of 


The crop of fruit entirely failed through all parts of 
England, both in the gardens and hedges, except apples and 

AVilHam, the bishop-elect of Ely, having been ordained 
priest on the first of October, in the parish church of St. Mary 
at Ely, was consecrated by the lord John, archbishop of 
Canterbury, with extraordinary pomp, bishop of Ely. 

A si/nod at Ely ; grant of a tenth and fifteenth. 

On the morrow of this solemnity, the archbishop held liis 
synod at Ely, with his suffragans and others of the clergy 
there assembled. In this synod the clergy granted to the 
king the tenth of all their spiritual possessions for one year ; 
but so that the tenth should not be collected before the feast 
of St. Michael in the year next to come. The king also 
obtained from the commons of England the fifteenth of all 
their temporal property ; and he condemned all the Jews, of 
both sexes and every age, living in all parts of England, to 
perpetual banishment, without hope of returning, 

Roger, abbot of St. Alban's, departed this life about the 
feast of All Saints, on the morrow of All Souls [3rd Novem- 
ber], and was succeeded by John de Berkhampstead, a monk of 
the same abbey. Robert, abbot of Reading, resigned his 
dignity, and was succeeded by William de Sutton, chamberlain 
of the same house. 

Death of Margaret, maid of Norway, heiress of Scotland. 

Margaret, daughter of Eric, king of NorAvay, and of Mar- 
garet, daughter of Alexander, king of Scotland, who lately 
died, without leaving any heir of his body, and of his queen 
Margaret, the daughter of Henry, king of England, and sister 
of king Edward, his son, — to whom, as nearest of blood, the 
hereditary right of the kingdom. of Scotland belonged, and 
who, also, was on the point of being married to Edward, the 
•son of king Edward before mentioned, a dispensation having 
been procured from the court of Rome, — died in the Orkney 

Death of queen Eleanor. 

Eleanor, queen of England, the king's consort, ended her 
days at Herdeby, in the county of Lincoln, on the fourth of 

A. D. 1290, 1291.] QUEEN ELEANOR BURIED. 381 

tlio calends of December [2(Stli November], and was buried at 
AW'stminster with extrortliiiary state and magnitieence, on the 
sixteenth of the calends of January [17th December]. After 
■which the king set out for Ayisrigge,^ a hermitage of the earl 
of Cornwall, to celebrate our Lord's Xativity there. 

[a.d. 1291.] On the fifteenth of the calends of ^March 
[loth February], there was an eclipse of the moon. On the 
sixth of the ides [the 8th] of February, at London, about the 
first hour, on a sudden, and when it was least expected, the 
Lord thundered from heaven with a loud and sharp report, 
filling the hearts of all who heard it with awful terror. 

Peace between the Pope and Sicily, Arragon and France. 

A peace and alliance was made and ratified between the 
Roman church and Charles, king of Sicily, on the one part, 
and Peter, king of Arragon, on the other : also, between the 
king of France on the one part, and the king of Spain on the 
other (after great losses, bloodshed, and calamities), principally 
through the mediation of the king of England, who sent 
solemn embassies into foreign parts to negotiate and settle 
the peace. But it was soon afterwards weakened and 
nullified, when, on the death of Peter, king of Arragon, his 
brother James took possession, by force, of the kingdom of 
Sicily. Ambassadors came from the great and mighty khan 
of the Tartars, both to the ])ope and the kings of France and 
England, for the renewal and ratification of peace, as well as 
touching his acceptance of the Christian faith, and the grant 
of succour to the Holy Land. 

Joan, countess of Gloucester, the daughter of the king of 
England, gave birth at Winchcombe to her eldest son, who 
was named Gilbert. The lord Thomas, bishop of Pochester, 
slept in the Lord at Pochester, in a good old age, on St. 
Pancras day [12th May] : he was succeeded by Thomas, prior 
of tl:ut church. Eleanor, mother of the king of England, 
ending her days at Amesbury, on the morrow of St. John 
[2-3tli June], was interred witli great solemnity on the third 
day after the Nativity of St. Mary [8th September] with a 

' Asliri(l;ije, in Buckinj^hamshire, where a colleo^P of Bon-hortiTTics 
was louiulc'd by Ednuind, tlio son of Richard, carl of Cornwall, in 1283. 
It al'terwcu-ds bt'came tlie magnificent scat of the 13ridgc\\ ater family. 


great attendance of the most powerful nobles both of France 
and England. 

Edward I. asserts his claim to the suzerainty of Scotland. 

On the death of Alexander [III.], king of Scotland, lately- 
deceased/ and the death and total failure both of his issue 
and kindred by blood, some persons began to claim a right 
of inheritance to the kingdom of Scotland. Considering 
which, the king of England alleged that the supremacy of the 
crown vras vested in him. To make this more clear he went 
to Norham, in the marches of Scotland, and assembled there 
the men of religion from some of the English churches with 
their chronicles, which having been carefully inspected, 
examined, and considered by his whole council, it appeared 
plain to all and each, that the supreme right to the kingdom 
of Scotland was vested in and belonged to him ; all which 
having been recounted before the great men of Scotland, as 
well bishops as earls, and some others, and having been 
deliberately weighed, the Scots having nothing to allege on 
their part, acknowledged him as their suzerain lord. They 
also committed to his custody the castles of Scotland, both on 
this side the sea and beyond sea, together with the seal of 
Scotland, and swore fealty to him, and made it sure by their 
letters patent, and declared that those who claimed a right to 
the kingdom of Scotland ought to abide the judgment of the 
court of the king of England. 

In this state of affairs, the lord John de Baliol, and the lord 
Robert de Bruce, with others hereafter named, presented 
themselves to claim their right. At length they agreed to 
this, that they would submit to the arbitration of forty 
liegemen of each of the two kingdoms, forty on one side and 
forty on the other, with twenty on the king's part ; and that 
the arguments and rights of all having been produced before 
them, they should promulgate and publish their award on the 
morrow of St. Peter-ad- Vincula [2nd August]. This being 
settled, the king of England appointed the bishop of Caithness 
chancellor of Scotland, and joined with him one of his own 
clerks, Walter de Agmondesham, chancellor of England, com- 

1 Alexander III. died 19th March, 1286. His queen, Margaret, 
daughter of Henry, died before him, in the year 1275. See before, 
pp. 354, and 374, 

A.D. 1291.] SCOTTISH AFFAIRS. 383 

manding all things to be done with their concurrence and 
assent. He also distributed the castles among his adherents, 
as to him seemed fit. He likewise appointed keepers of the 
peace and order, and otlier ofhcers of the royal administration, 
both on the mainland and in the islands. 

Therefore, on the morrow of St. Peter already named, it 
was determined, with common consent, by the nobles of both 
countries at Berwick, and by those who claimed a right to the 
kingdom of Scotland, that the pleas of all should be con- 
sidered null and void, except those of the lords John de 
Baliol, Robert de Bruce, and John do Hastings, and the 
others hereafter mentioned. A day was assigned to the 
parties at Berwick for arguing their rights on the morrow of 
the Holy Trinity next coming [18th June] by our lord the 
king and his liegemen, who should meet him there. After 
this, Florence, earl of Holland, Robert Bruce, earl of 
Anandale, John de Baliol, lord of Galway, John de Hastings, 
lord of Abergavenny, John Gumming, lord of Badenoch, 
Patrick de Dunbar, earl of March, John de Yesci, on behalf 
of his father, Richard de Soules, and William de Ross, in 
whom, or some of whom, the right to the crown of Scotland 
was considered to be vested, returned to their homes to de- 
liberate touching the allegation and assertion of their right 
or rights, against the day before appointed for them. 

Wherefore, our lord the king, taking into consideration and 
fully weighing, that by the tenor of the chronicles of divers 
religious men, his right to the kingdom of Scotland was de- 
clared to be far from trifling; and desirous of leaving a 
record of this fact and of his own ])roceedings to bo handed 
down to future generations, he wrote to the greater monas- 
teries of England in the following form : — 

" Edward, hy the grace of God, king of England, lord of 
Ireland, and duke of Aquitaine, to his beloved in Christ, the 
abbot and convent of St. Peter at Bury, greeting. 

" Wk send you appended to these presents, under the seal 
of our exchequer, a transcript of certain letters which are en- 
rolled in our treasury, of which the following is the tenor : — 

" ' To those who shall see or hear these presents : Florence carl 


of Holland y Robert Bruce, earl of Anandale [Johnde Baliol^ 
lord of Galway,'] John de Hastings, lord of Ahergavenmj, John 
Cuniming, tord of Badenoch, Patrick de Dunbar, earl of 
March, John de Vesci, on behalf of his father, Richard de 
Soules, and William de Rous, greeting in God. 

1,? a i "Whereas we pretend to have right to the kingdom of Scot- 
land, and this right to exhibit, challenge, and aver before him 
who has the most power, jurisdiction, and reason to try our 
right ; and the noble prince, Sir Edward, by the grace of 
God, king of England, has informed us on good and sufficient 
grounds, that to him belongs and is due the suzerainty of the 
said kingdom of Scotland, and the cognisance of hearings 
trying, and determining our right : we, of our own free 
choice, without any manner of force or duress, will and 
grant to receive right before him as the sovereign lord of 
the land. And we will and promise that we will hold and 
keep his act firm and stable, and that he among us shall have 
possession of the kingdom to whom right shall belong before 
him. In testimony of which we have set our seals to this in- 
strument. Done at Xorham, the Tuesday next after the 
Ascension, in the year of grace one thousand two hundred 
and ninety-one.* 

" ' To all those luho shall see or hear these presents : Florence, 
earl of Holland, Hobert de Bruce, lord of Anandale, John de 
Baliol, lord of Galivay, John de Hastings, lord of Abergavenny, 
John Comyn, lord of Badenoeh, Patrich de Dunbar, earl of 
March, John de Vesey, for his father, Nicholas de Soules, and 
William de Rous, health in God. 

" ' Whereas, we have consented and granted, of our own free 
will and common assent, without any duress, to the noble 
prince. Sir Edward, by the grace of God, king of England, 
that he, as suzerain lord of the territory of Scotland, shall 
hear, try, and determine our challenges and demands, which 
we intend to exhibit and allesre for our rio-ht to the kingdom 

O O O 

of Scotland, and justice have before him, as suzerain lord of 
the land, promising that we will hold his act firm and stable, 

^ Baliol's name is omitted, evidently through inadvertence. It ap- 
pears in other copies, both French and Latin. The transcript in this 
Continuation of Florence is ffiven in the old French. 


and that ho shall possess the kingdom to whom right shall 
give it before him. 

*' ' But eonsidering that the aforesaid king of England cannot 
make and accomplisli this cognisance-without judgment, and 
judgment ought not to be without execution, and execution 
cannot be done without possession and seisin of the same 
territories, and of the castles : we therefore will and grant that 
lie, as sovereign lord, in order to perform the things before men- 
tioned, have the seisin of all the land and castles of Scotland, 
until right be done and perfected as we demand, in such 
manner that before he has the before mentioned seisin, he give 
good and sufficient surety, on demand, to the protectors and 
commons of the kingdom of Scotland, for the restoration of 
the same kingdom and castles, and all royalties, dignities, 
lordships, franchises, customs, rights, laws, usages, and pos- 
sessions, with all manner of appurtenances, in the same state as 
they were when the seisin was to him given and granted, to 
such one of us to whom the right shall belong by judgment of 
the court, saving to the king of England the homage of him 
who shall be king ; the restoration to be made within three 
months after the right shall be tried and afHrmed. 

^' 'And that the revenue of the said territories received in the 
mean time shall be safely deposited, and well kept, in the hands 
of the chamberlain of Scotland that now is, and of one to be 
assigned to act with him by the king of England, and under 
their seals ; saving reasonable maintenance for the lands and 
castles, and the ministers of the realm. In testimony of what 
is before declared, we have set our seals to this writing. Done 
at Norham, on Tuesday after the Ascension, in the year of 
grace one thousand two hundred and ninety-one.' 

"Wherefore wc command you that you record these mat- 
ters in your chronicles for a perpetual testimony thereof. 
Witness, Master W. de Marche, our treasurer, at Westminster, 
on the ninth day of July, in the nineteenth year of our reign. 
Ijv writ of nrivv seal." 

Description of Nortlmmhria. 

Hyring was the first king who reigned after the Britons in 

Nortliuiiibria. Northumljria extends from the great river 

Humbcr (so called from Humber, king of the lluns, who 

was invited there) as far as the Frisian — which is now called 

A A 



the Scottish — Sea, because it divides the English and Scotch. 
It was called in old times the Frisian Sea, because the Frisons 
and the Danes were wont very frequently to bring their ships 
to land there, and then, being joined by the Scots and Picts, 
ravage Northumbria. This country was afterwards much 
divided on various occasions and from various calamities ; but 
in the course of a short time it was severed into two provinces, 
namely, Deira and Bernicia. Deira extends from the afore- 
said river Humber to the Tyne, and was ruled by St. Oswine, 
king and martyr, whose body now rests at Tynemouth. St. 
Oswald, king and martyr, reigned in Bernicia, that is, from 
the Tyne as far as the Scottish Sea. By the name of North- 
umbria was, therefore, sometimes understood the country be- 
tween the Humber and the Tees ; at other times it extended 
to the Tyne, at others to the Tweed ; but at present includes 
only the district between the Tyne and the Tweed. This 
may suffice respecting its territory. 

Genealogy of the Icings of Bernicia. 

Hyring, then, who has been already mentioned, begat king 
"Wodna ; Wodna begat king Withgils ; Withgils begat king 
Horsa ; Horsa begat king Uppa ; Uppa begat king Eppa ; 
Eppa begat king Ermering ; Ermering begat king Ida ; all 
of whom reigned in the territory of the Northumbrians on 
the north side of the river Humber, on the Norwegian sea. 
None of these kings, from Hyring to king Ida, appear in any 
of the historians, either from omission or ignorance, and the 
records of them were either burnt in the country or carried 
away from it.^ 

However, king Ida begat king Ethelred ; Ethelred begat 
king Ethelfert ; Ethelfert begat king Oswy ; Oswy begat king 
Egfert ; Egfert begat king ^Ifrid ; ^Ifrid begat king ^lla ; 
jEUa begat a daughter named Ethelreda. The earls who 
afterwards had the government of Northumbria Avere all 
sprung from king iEUa. Ethelreda bore earl Eadulf ; earl 
Eadulf begat earl Oswulf; earl Oswulf begat earl Waltheof ; 
earl Waltheof begat earl Wihtred ; earl Wihtred begat earl 
Aldred ; earl Aldred begat a daughter named Elfleda ; the 
valiant duke Siward married her, and had with her the king- 
dom of Northumbria. She bore him a son named Waltheof, 

* "A \ery remarkable passage." — Thorpe. 


who was afterwards earl. Eut as at the time of duke Siward's 
death his son Wahheof was still very young, his earldom was 
given by St. Edward, the king, to Tosti, the son of earl 

In the twenty-fourtli year of king Edward, the North- 
umbrians expelled from the kingdom their earl Tosti, who had 
caused them much bloodshed and disaster, putting to death 
all his household, and by grant and permission of St. Edward, 
the king, appointed Morcar, the son of Algar, earl of Chester, 
to be their earl. 

In the second vear of kins? William the first, that kinsr srave 
the earldom of Xorthumbria to earl Robert ;^ but the people 
of the province slew him and nine hundred men at the same 

In the tliird year of king William, Waltheof, the son of 
duke Si ward, who has been already mentioned, having been 
reconciled with the king, obtained the earldom of North- 
umbria after the death of Morcar, the aforesaid earl. 

In the ninth year of king William, Ralph, earl of East- 
Anglia, conspired to dethrone the king, with Waltheof, the 
before-mentioned earl of Northunibria, and Roger, the son of 
William Fitz-Osbern, whose sister earl Waltheof married, and 
at whose nuptials the conspiracy was hatched. However, the 
king, returning to England, threw earl Ralph, his cousin, 
into prison ; but he caused earl Waltheof to be beheaded at 
Winchester, and he was buried at Croyland, where the monas- 
tery of St. Guthlac stands. 

All those before-mentioned were sub-kings or eails in 
Northumbria, from the period the English people settled 
there ; and of this Northumbria the city of York was the 

Note, that the following are the names of the kings of 
the Scots, who reigned in Scotland after the Picts. 

Kenneth Mac- Alpin, the first after the Picts, 16 years. 

Donald Mac-A^jin 3 years. 

Constantino Mac-Kenneth 19 years. 

Kenneth Mac-Kenneth 1 year. 

Tirged Mac-Dugal 12 years. 

Donald Mac-Coustantine ;. 11 years. 

* Robert de C:>m\n, a.u. 1039. 

A a2 



Constantine Mac-Beth . 
Malcolm Mac-Donald 
Indolf Mac-Constantine . 
Duff Mac-Malcolm ... . 
Colin Mac-Indulf ... . 
Kenneth Mac-Malcolm . 
Constantine Mac-Colin . 
Kenneth Mac-Duff... . 
Malcolm Mac-Kenneth . 
Duncan, nephew of Enis 
Machet Mac-Finlav 

45 years. 
9 years. 
9 years. 

3 years 6 months. 

4 years 6 months. 
22 years 2 months. 

1 year 6 months. 
1 year 3 months. 
30 years. 

5 years 9 months. 
17 years. 

4 years 6 months. 

37 years. 

3 years. 

1 year 6 months. 

9 years. 
17 years 3 months. 
29 years ; 

12 years 6 months. 


Malcolm Mac-Duncan, married St. Mar- 
garet, and reigned , 

Donald, his brother, usurped the crown... 

Duncan, bastard, son of Malcolm 

Edgar, son of Malcolm and Margaret . . . 

Alexander, his brother 

David, their most glorious brother 

and begat Henry, earl of Huntingdon. 

Malcolm, son of earl Henry 

William, son of Henry, the aforesaid earl 49 years. 

Alexander, son of the aforesaid William 35 years. 

Alexander, son of Alexander. He mar- 
ried Margaret, daughter of Henrj^, king 
of England, and was father of Mar- 
garet, queen of Norway. 

Here also is inserted the convention between the kings of 
England and Scotland, concluded at Lincoln, in the year 
[1200],^ in which the king of Scotland did homage to the 
king of England. ' 

' There is a blank in the MS. which is filled up in the text with 
1200, in v/hich year William, king of Scotland, did homage to king 
John at Lincoln. If there was any instrument executed on this occa- 
sion, as the continuator of Florence here leads us to suppose, at least 
that which he has inserted in this place is a very different instru- 
ment. For the "charter" which follows was granted at York, in 
1175, in confirmation of the agreement entered into at Falaise with 
Henry IT, on his releasing the king of Scots from his captivity. See 
before, the note at p. 302; and Hoveden, vol. i , p. 398, where the 
charter is civen ; and vol. ii., p. 502. See, also, Wendover, vol. ii., 
p. 32. 



" "William, king of Scotland, becomes the liegeman of our 
lord the king of England against every man in Scotland, and 
all other his territories, and has done fealty to him as his liege 
lord, as his other vassals are wont to do. In like manner he 
has done homage to king Henry, his son, saving ahvays the 
fealty to our lord the king, his father. 

"^loreover, all the bishops, abbots, and clergy, of the 
kingdom of Scotland, and their successors, from whom he may 
require it, shall do fealty to our lord the king, as their liege 
lord, as his other bishops arc wont to do ; and also to king 
Henry, his son, and their heirs. 

" Also, the king of Scotland, with David, his brother, and 
his barons and other vassals, hath granted to our lord the king- 
that the church of Scotland shall henceforth pay such sub- 
jection to the church of England as it ought, and was wont 
to pay in the time of his predecessors, kings of England. 

" In like manner, Richard, bishop of St. Andrews, Ilichard, 
bishop of Dunkeld, Geoftrey, abbot of Dumferline, and Her- 
bert, prior of Coldingham, have also agreed that the church 
of England shall have such jurisdiction over the church 
of Scotland as it can lawfully claim ; and that they will 
not oppose the rights of the church of England. And for 
this agreement they have given sureties to our lord the king 
and to his son Henry, in the same manner as when they did 
fealty to him as his liegemen. The other bishops and the 
clergy of Scotland shall do the same, according to the con- 
vention made between our lord the king and the king of 
Scotland, and his brother David and his barons. 

" The earls, also, and the barons and others holding lands 
under the king of Scotland, shall do homage and fealty, if 
our lord the king shall require it, to himself and king Henry, 
his son, and their heirs, against all the world, saving only tlie 
fealty due from him to the king his father. In like manner, 
the heirs of the king of Scotland and of his barons, and of 
their mesne tenants, shall i)ay homage and allegiance to the 
heirs of our lord the king against all the world. 

'' Further, the king of Scotland and his liegemen shall not 
henceforth harbour any fugitive from the dominions of our 
lord the king for cause of felony, either in Scotland or other 

390 . FLORENCE OF WORCESTER. [a.D. 1291. 

his territories, unless he shall be willing to take his trial in the 
dominions of our lord the king, and abide by the judgment 
of tlie court. But the king of Scotland and liis liegemen 
shall arrest him with all possible speed, and deliver him up 
to our lord the king, or to his justiciaries and bailiffs in 

" Moreover, if there shall be in England any fugitive from 
the territories of the king of Scotland on account of felony, 
unless he shall be willing to take his trial either in the court 
of the king of Scotland, or in the court of our lord the king, 
and to abide by the judgment of such court he shall not be 
liarboured b}^ our lord the king, but shall be given up to the 
men of the king of Scotland by the bailiffs of our lord the king, 
when he shall be found. 

" Further, the liegemen of our lord the king shall hold 
their lands which they have held, and ought to hold, of our 
lord the king, and of the king of Scotland, and of their 
vassals. And the liegemen of the king of Scotland shall 
hold their lands which they have held, and ought to hold, of 
our lord the kino* and his vassals. 

" For the due performance of this final convention with our 
lord the king and his son Henry and their heirs, by the king 
of Scotland and his heirs, the king of Scotland has given 
possession to our lord the king, at the mercy of our lord the 
king, of the castles of Roxburgh, Berwick, and Jedburgh, and 
the Maiden castle, and the castle of Sterling. And the king 
of Scotland will assign to our lord the king out of his reve- 
nues, sums in due proportion at the pleasure of our lord the 
king for the expenses, of the custody of the said castles. 

" Besides, for the due and final performance of the conven- 
tion aforesaid, the king of Scotland has delivered to our lord 
the king as hostages, his brother David, and earl Duncan and 
many others. When, however, the castles shall be given up, 
William, king of Scotland, and his brother David shall be 
liberated. Each of the before-mentioned earls and barons 
shall also be set at liberty, when he shall have given an 
hostage, namely, a legitimate son, if he have one, and in the 
case of those who have not, nephews or next heirs ; the castles 
having been also surrendered, as before mentioned. 

" Further, the king^ of Scotland and his before-named 
barons have pledged themselves with good faith, and without 
fraud or covin, that, all excuses apart, they w^ill cause the 


bLsliops, barons, and liegemen of their land, who were not pre- 
sent when the king of Scotland concluded this treaty with our 
lord tlie king, to make the same allegiance and fealty to our 
lord the king and his son Henry, which they themselves have 
made ; and deliver hostages to our lord the king of such as 
he shall choose, in the same manner as the barons and liege- 
men who were here present. 

"Moreover, the bishops, earls, and barons have agreed 
with our lord the king and his son Henry, that if the king of 
Scotland by any chance should withdraw his fealty to our 
lord the king and his son, and from the aforesaid covenants, 
they will hold with our lord the king, as their liege lord, 
against the king of Scotland, and against all the enemies of 
our lord the king ; and the bishops will put the territories of 
the king of Scotland under an interdict, until he shall return 
to his fealty to our lord the king. 

"For the due performance of the aforesaid convention 
without fraud or covin, by William, king of Scotland, and 
David, his brother, and by the barons before named and their 
heirs, the king of Scotland himself, and David, his brother, 
and all his said barons, have pledged their faith against all 
persons, as liegemen of our lord the king, and of his son 
Henry, saving their fealty to the king his fiither ; of all which 
are witnesses, Richard, bishop of Avranches, &;c. &c." 

This instrument ha^g been read in the church of St. 
Peter, at York, in the presence of the aforesaid bishops of 
England, and before the king of Scotland and David his 
brother, and all the people, the bishops, earls, barons, and 
knights of the king of the Scots, swore fealty to our lord the 
king of England, and to Henry, his son, and their heirs, 
against all men, as well as against their own liege lord. 


"PiiciiARD, by the gi*ace of God, king of England, lord of 
Normandy and Aquitaino, count of Anjou, to the archbishops, 
l)isiioj)s, abbots, earls, barons, justiciaries, sheriffs, and all his 
officers and faithful people throughout the whole of England, 

' This charter was granted in 1104. See Hoveden (vol. ii., p. 
318, &c.) for the transactions oonnrcti'd with it. Ho refers to another 
charter, the substance of which will be ])resently given, but does not 
mention the restoration of the castles of Roxburgh, Berwick, «S:c. 

392 FLORENCE OF "WORCESTER. [a.D. 1291. 

" Know ye that we have restored to our most beloved 
cousin William, by the same grace, king* of Scotland, his 
castles of Roxburgh and Berwick, to be held as his own inhe- 
ritance by him and his heirs for ever. 

" Moreover, we have released him from all covenants and 
agreements which our father Henry, king of England, extorted 
from him by new charters, or in consequence of his capture ; in 
such manner, nevertheless, that he fully and entirely perform 
to us all that his brother Malcolm, king of Scotland, lawfully 
performed, or ought to have performed, to our predecessors. 
And we will perform to him all that our predecessors performed, 
or ought to have performed, in respect of the aforesaid Malcolm 
namely, safe conduct in coming to or returning from our court, 
and in abiding there, and in procurations, and all liberties, 
dignities, and honours which he can lawfully claim, according 
to what shall be recognised by four of our barons chosen by 
king William and four of his barons chosen by us. 

"Further, if any of our liegemen have seized, without 
lawful judgment, the borders or marches of the kingdom of 
Scotland from the time that the aforesaid king AVilliam was 
taken prisoner by our father, we will that they be restored 
entire, and replaced in tlie same condition in which they were 
before his capture. 

" Moreover, with respect to the lands which he has in 
England, whether they be held in demesne or fee, namely, in 
the county of Huntingdon and elsewhere, let him hold them to 
him and his heirs for ever as fully and freely as the said Mal- 
colm possessed them or ought to have possessed them, save 
such of them as the said Malcolm or his heirs afterwards 
infeoiFed. So, however, that if any such lands were after- 
terwards enfeoffed, the service for those fees shall belong to 
the said king of Scotland and his heirs. 

" Whatever also w^as granted by our father to the aforesaid 
William, king of Scotland, we ratify and confirm. 

" We restore to him the fealty of his liegemen, and all 
charters which our lord and father obtained from him by 
reason of his capture ; and if by any chance there should be 
others retained from forgetfulness, or afterwards discovered, 
we command that they shall be treated as null and void. But 
he has become our liegeman for all the lands for which his 
ancestors were liegemen to our predecessors, and swore fealty 


to US and our heirs. AVitncsses, Bakhvin, Archbishop of 
Canterbury, &c. &;c." 


" Alexander, by the p:race of God, king of Scotland, to all 
the faithful in Christ Avbo shall see or hear this writing, health. 

" We would have you know, that we have covenanted and 
faithfully promised, for us and our heirs, to our most beloved 
and liege lord, Henry, by the grace of God, the illustrious 
king of England, lord of Ireland, duke of Normandy and 
Aquitaine, and count of Anjou, and his heirs, that we will keep 
good taith and amity with liim for ever hereafter. And that 
we will never, ourselves, or by any persons on our behalf, enter 
into any alliance with the enemies of the kings of England or 
their heirs, for the purpose of procuring or making war from 
which loss may happen, or can by any means ensue, to them 
or their kingdoms of England and Ireland, or their other 
territories, unless they shall unjustly aggrieve us. 

"All this leaves entire the covenants between us and our- 
said lord the king of England lately made at York in the 
presence of the lord Otho, deacon of St. Nieholas-in-carcere- 
Tulliano, at that time legate of the apostolic see in England, 
and is without prejudice to the treaty made respecting a mar- 
riage between our son and the daughter of the said king of 

" And that this our covenant and agreement, for us and our 
heirs, may have perpetual force, we have caused Alan the cham- 
berlain, 11. do Baliol, and others, to swear on our soul that we 
will firmly and faithfully maintain all the rights aforesaid. And 
in like manner we have also caused to swear the venerable 
fathers, David, William, Geoffrey, and Clement, the bishops 
of St. Andrew's, Glasgow, and other sees. And further, our 
faithful subjects Patrick, earl of Dunbar, ^lalcolm, earl of 
Fife, and others, [have sworn] that if we or our heirs should 
contravene the aforesaid covenant and promises (whioli God 
forbid), they and their heirs shall lend to us and our heirs 
neither aid nor counsel against the said covenant and promise, 

' Alexander II., kin;^ of Scotland, died on tlio .Srd July, 1249, 
and liis son's marriat^o with tlio daui^htor of Henry III., referred to in 
it, took plaeo on the '2(')lh ])(>c(>inber, V2o2 ; so tliat this engagement 
was probably entered into shortly before the father's death. 


nor will, to the best of their power, suffer them to be given by- 
others; but shall use their endeavours honestly with us and our 
heirs that all the aforesaid provisions shall be firmly and faith- 
fully kept, both by us and our heirs, and by them and their 
heirs, for ever. In witness whereof, we and our prelates, earls, 
and barons, have confirmed these presents by affixing our 
seals. Witnesses, the earls and barons before mentioned, in the 
year of our reign, &c. &c." 


** To the most holy father in Christ, John, by the grace of 
God, pope, Alexander by the like grace, king of Scotland, 
earl of Patrick, earl of Stratherne, sends greeting with all 
due honour and reverence. 

" We certify to your holiness that we have taken our cor- 
poral oaths before the venerable father Otho, cardinal deacon 
of St. Nicholas-in-carcere-TulL, at that time legate in England 
of the apostolic see, and have made our charter, commencing 
thus : ' Know all men, present and to come, that it has been 
agreed, as follows, in the presence of the lord Otho, of St. 
Nicholas,' &c. 

" By another, which begins : * We will you all to know, as 
appears from the tenor of our former covenants,* we have sub- 
mitted ourselves to your jurisdiction, so that we and our heirs 
may be restrained by ecclesiastical censures, if we shall at any- 
time contravene the before mentioned treaty of peace. And 
if it